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The Grizzlies Magic Number for the Playoffs is Now Two

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With their win in Chicago, the Grizzlies move ever closer to securing a playoff spot, setting up the most important game of the year on Friday.

With the win last night, the Grizzlies ended their six game losing streak and moved ever so much closer to the playoffs, with their magic number now at:

The Grizzlies do have 98% chance of making the post season.  This is good news despite the fact that the Grizzlies have been on their longest losing streak since 2009 and all the talk about tanking the rest of the season.

Here are some important games this week:

April 6th Dallas at Houston:  No matter what happens in this one, the Grizzlies magic number will stay at two.  But the Grizzlies will benefit because...

April 8th Memphis at Dallas:  This has become the biggest game of the season for the Grizzlies. If Memphis wins this game, they will have picked up a win and the last place team in the conference, being Dallas, would have a loss, thus securing the playoffs for this torn and frayed Grizzlies team.

via GIPHY

If they lose...well I'll let CBSSports Matt Moore tell you the bad news:

Memphis' closing schedule is at Dallas, home for the Warriors chasing 73 wins and needing every single win, at Los Angeles to play the Clippers, and at the Warriors on a back to back to close the season, again, with a chance at 73 wins likely on the line. If you take the two Warriors losses as given, that means Memphis has to win one of the two games between Dallas and the Clippers to clinch.

If the Jazz, Rockets, Mavericks, and Grizzlies finish tied, Memphis would almost certainly lose out on tiebreaker based on on head to head record between the four teams.

via GIPHY

As far as seeding is concerned, there are way too many possibilities to explain in this small space.  Memphis has a half game lead over the Portland Trailblazers for the fifth seed with four games to go.  If they win out, they will hold on to that seed.  A win on Friday will give the Grizzlies a game and a half lead, no matter what Portland does against Oklahoma City on Thursday since the Grizzlies have one more game to play.

Golden State losing last night to Minnesota both helps and hurts the Grizzlies.  It really hurts the Grizzlies because if the Warriors are chasing that regular season wins record, they will need both wins against the Grizz and both wins against the Spurs.  It helps the Grizzlies in the sense that suddenly the Spurs are three games behind the Warriors with with five games left to play, including Dallas and may play their regulars in order to secure home court for the playoffs.

It's complicated...but we are getting there.  Hold on.