The Memphis Grizzlies are currently in the midst of one of the most brutal parts of their post All-Star Game schedule. Taking on the brunt of the workload along with the Spurs, the issues the Grizzlies had with Covid-19 forcing an almost two-week break earlier in the season have led to 40 games in 68 days. This gauntlet culminates with this week, a five game in seven day trudge that Memphis is surprisingly 2-0 starting out on after last night’s big win over the Dallas Mavericks. Today is a rare day off for the Grizzlies - one in which they’re hopefully recuperating and focusing on the final three games...and a likely final contest of the regular season against Steph Curry and Golden State that could mean a heck of a lot. Their concern at the moment shouldn’t be on the NBA’s scheduling decisions
However, fans of course can focus on such things. And according to the latest SB Nation Reacts survey, more than two-thirds of fans around the NBA think the league condensed the schedule too much.
One major reason it’s believed the league was so adamant on finishing this early is because of the expected 2021 Olympics this summer. However, only 44 percent of fans believe that’s a worthy reason for playing games at this pace. It certainly has made things more difficult for a Memphis team that has to be thankful for its depth right now.
While the schedule is difficult for everyone (especially for the Grizzlies), some teams are having more success than others. That’s in large part due to the success of star players around the league. This year’s MVP race has seen a changing group of players from start to finish, and while there aren’t any Grizzlies in this mix right now (regardless of chant confusion) who is indeed in the hunt is relevant to this Memphis team.
As the season nears its end, though, one player has emerged as the front runner for the award. 61 percent of fans nationally think Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Jokić is the league’s MVP. Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul was the next closest with 17 percent.
Three of the four Reacts finalists are in the Western Conference, and two of them (Paul and Curry) are or could be on the Grizzlies play-in/off radar. Jokic is a monster and has the Nuggets playing better than they should be given their injury concerns. No disrespect to likely runner-up Joel Embiid, but Jokic should be in the lead here.
While Jokić appears to be the clear MVP, that doesn’t mean he’s considered the best player in the game right now. That title, according to fans, still goes to Lakers superstar LeBron James.
There’s a difference between MVP and best player, clearly. LeBron remains King James for that reason. But regardless of title/awards, there is no denying that Chris Paul’s re-emergence with the Suns has been a game-changer. The point guard was picked as the player who has made the biggest difference on their new team, far surpassing Brooklyn’s James Harden.
The Suns are in the postseason once again and Phoenix has title run aspirations. That doesn’t happen without CP3.
Moving forward GBB will be more active in the Reacts surveys for SB Nation. Grizzlies fans should expect to see more Reacts content in the coming weeks from us, and in order to get the Memphis perspective in the mix you have to sign up for the survey!
To vote in the Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.