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Memphis Grizzlies Schedule Breakdown: February

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It’s time for a look into the month of love (and the All Star Game) to see how the Grizzlies might fare in February.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

So far, we’ve covered October, November, December, and January in our Grizzlies schedule preview. Today, we’ll move on to February, the month of Valentine’s Day, and the All Star Game!

The Schedule:

Toughest Stretch

If the Grizzlies are, as I hoped in yesterday’s post, able to get rolling at the end of January, that could play a big part in opening February up with some key wins. The Grizzlies will start Valentine’s month off with four key games against Western Conference foes: at Denver, at Oklahoma City, at Minnesota, San Antonio. Two of those match-ups (Denver and Minnesota) come against teams with young talent looking to take the next step this season. The other two come against Russell Westbrook’s Thunder, and the Duncan-less Spurs.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that these four games really serve as a great example of why it’s so tough to judge a schedule this early. Oklahoma City just lost Kevin Durant, and it’s nearly impossible to know what that team will look like with Westbrook as The Man. As for Minnesota and Denver, their talent looks promising, but what if they’re still a year away? Those games don’t look quite as challenging. The Spurs, of course, are aging, and they just lost Tim Duncan, but they’re the Spurs. Even playing them at the Forum will be a challenge.

In short, those four games are a perfect example of how flawed a process like this is. It’s a fun process, nonetheless, so I still think it’s worth the time.

Easiest Stretch

February looks like another opportunity for the Grizzlies to build momentum similar to what they (hopefully) can do in October and November. After the home game against San Antonio, Memphis gets three winnable games out of four before the All Star break: home against the Suns, home against the Warriors, at Brooklyn, home against the Pelicans. Memphis should be able to go 3-1 in that stretch, and, hey, maybe they’ll catch Golden State at the right time and can take one from the team that blew a 3-1 in the NBA Finals. Going 4-0 over those games would make for an exceptional All Star break.

Overall Outlook

If the Grizzlies can survive their early stretch of games (3-3 in those first six), they should be set up to win seven or eight of their eleven games in February. That also means that, if everything goes right, they’ll be coming out of the All Start break with momentum heading into the season’s back stretch.

That’s going to be incredibly important. As we’ll see tomorrow, when we look at March, the end of the schedule isn’t particularly kind to the Grizzlies, and they’ll need a strong showing in February and early March to give them a cushion for their playoff push.