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The Fifth Seed It Is: Memphis Gets Portland in the First Round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs

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After weeks of prognostication and probabilities, the Grizzlies are the "Five" seed. How does the West shape up? For Memphis, some good and some bad.

Home court is worthy of a smile, coach...
Home court is worthy of a smile, coach...
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The gauntlet is complete, the race has been run, the marathon is finished. After the Memphis Grizzlies' 95-83 win over the Indiana Pacers (eliminating them from the playoffs) it is finally for playoff basketball in Memphis once again. Some major happenings in the Western Conference tonight...

  1. Oklahoma City is out of the playoffs for the first time since 2008-2009 because of the tiebreaker the New Orleans Pelicans have over them.
  2. With New Orleans' victory over the San Antonio Spurs, it means all five Southwest division teams are in the playoffs. This hasn't happened in the NBA since 2005-2006 with the Central division in the Eastern Conference.
  3. That Pelicans win was huge. San Antonio drops from the second seed to the six due to the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies winning.
What do these developments result in? The Western Conference playoff picture being cemented. Here is the end result of all that analysis.

Golden State Warriors (66-15 at the time of posting.)"]">1 Golden State Warriors (66-15 at the time of posting.)
8 New Orleans Pelicans (45-37)
Portland Trail Blazers (51-31)"]">4 Portland Trail Blazers (51-31)
5 Memphis Grizzlies (55-27)
Los Angeles Clippers (56-26)"]">3 Los Angeles Clippers (56-26)
6 San Antonio Spurs (55-27)
2 Houston Rockets (56-26)
Dallas Mavericks (50-32)"]">7 Dallas Mavericks (50-32)

Memphis holds the tiebreaker over San Antonio, Houston holds the tiebreaker over Los Angeles.

It played out almost exactly as predicted in my playoff scenario article from last week. The result of the realist view is some good, and some bad.

  • Good- Home Court Advantage against a Portland team possibly more banged up than the Grizzlies are due to having a better overall record than them. Also, SAN ANTONIO IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRACKET THANK YOU SO MUCH.
  • Bad- A potential second round date with the scorching hot Golden State Warriors if they get past the New Orleans Pelicans (likely.) The six seed would have meant dealing with Los Angeles, Houston and/or Dallas.
Given the way that Memphis has played as of late, the opportunity against a team like the Trail Blazers who are in a similar situation health wise to the Grizzlies to get out of the first round is attractive. With Mike Conley and Tony Allen still questionable heading in to Game One this weekend in Memphis, beating Portland seems more realistic given the current situation than beating Los Angeles in a seven-game series at this time.

You can't get to the second round if you lose in the first; injuries have changed the game. With no back to backs and multiple days off for travel, the possibility of Conley, Allen and others getting healthier over the next two weeks is surely a possibility. Home Court is also huge, considering that historically the 4/5 match-up in the playoffs is a toss-up. Portland has two Superstars in Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge who will most certainly make this series competitive. If it comes down to a Game Seven, it will be held in the friendly confines of the FedEx Forum.

So, it is once again time to Believe, Memphis. Hope you have your Growl Towels ready to rock the Grindhouse. The next few days will bear watching when it comes to schedule and the health of the Grizzlies overall. Tony Allen and Mike Conley returning for Game One at home could be the shot of adrenaline this team desperately needs if it hopes to achieve its "greater" goals.

The intensity and the emotion that is the NBA playoffs is only a few days away. Stick with Grizzly Bear Blues for all your 2015 NBA Playoffs coverage of the Memphis Grizzlies.