Tonight, fresh off a 109–102 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Clippers – who locked themselves in to a first-round matchup with the Grizzlies last night – travel to New York to take on the Knicks. If the Knicks beat the Clippers tonight and the Grizzlies beat the Magic tomorrow night, Memphis will host a playoff series for the first time in the history of the franchise.
Likewise, the Knicks need the Grizzlies to beat the Magic on Thursday so that they have a chance of bypassing the Magic for the sixth seed in the East, playing the Celtics in the first round instead of the Bulls or Heat.
The Atlanta Hawks did the Grizzlies a huge favor last night by knocking off the Clippers. It was a close-fought game in which several Hawks players made crazy plays to seal the game. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul both finished over 30 points (36 and 34, respectively) but they were the only two Clippers who finished in double digits – something the Grizzlies would surely be okay with in a playoff matchup.
The regular season is coming down to the wire for the Grizzlies and Clippers, with both teams playing in meaningful games on the last night of their regular seasons. It’d be nice to be locked in to a spot and have the ability to rest players, but unfortunately for both teams that’s not the way it’s worked out. The Grizzlies have been able to rest starters for large portions of the last few games against the Trail Blazers, Bobcats, and Cavaliers, while the Clippers have played better teams like the Thunder, Nuggets, and Suns before both teams finish out against Eastern Conference playoff teams.
But tonight, Grizzlies fans and Knicks fans need to be on the same page. The Knicks fans will be pulling for us Thursday night, just as we need the Knicks to win tonight.