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Grizzlies Reacts Survey: Who is the best first round matchup for the Grizzlies?

It is never too early to look toward the playoffs.

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NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Memphis Grizzlies fans and fans across the country.
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While there are still three months of the regular season left, the Memphis Grizzlies have separated themselves from much of the Western Conference. For the past two weeks, the Grizzlies and the Denver Nuggets have been fighting for the one seed, with both sides refusing to lose. The Grizzlies are on a 11-game win streak, and the Nuggets are on a seven-game win streak. The two squads have now placed five games between them and the third-place New Orleans Pelicans.

The Grizzlies and Nuggets are both 20-3 at home (as of 11:13PM CST Wednesday night), meaning the one-seed in the West, and homecourt advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs could mean more than ever. So, as Grizzlies fans look toward the postseason, it is important to consider who they may play in the first round. There are a lot of teams fighting for those Western Conference play-in spots and only two games separate the sixth seed and the thirteenth seed.

As of Wednesday, the Golden State Warriors are tied for the sixth seed and sit at 22-22. The team went 6-8 without Stephen Curry and boast a home record of 17-5. Curry has averaged 29.3 points on 49.3/42.1/90.9 shooting splits along with 6.4 rebounds and 6.3 assists. After a slow start to the season, Klay Thompson has bounced back and is averaging 20.9 points on 42.0/39.4/88.9 shooting splits. It is unlikely the Grizzlies would see Golden State in the first round, but if the Warriors faced another injury, they could drop back into the play-in tournament.

The Los Angeles Clippers are 23-23, as of Wednesday. It has been four years since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George came to L.A. and the star duo has played 96 games together. While the Clippers did make the 2021 Western Conference Finals, it is fair to say the pair has underachieved. When watching the Clippers, it is clear that the team has not played much together. Continuity is valuable, and it is a big reason the Grizzlies have found success in the past two seasons. The Clippers will likely make a move at the trade deadline, but time will tell if it will be enough to contend in the Western Conference.

Many thought that the Utah Jazz would be in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes but through 47 games, they are only one game below .500. Fueled by the emergence of Lauri Markkanen, the Jazz are in the playoff conversation. Markkanen is averaging 24.6 points on 51.9/41.3/86.9 shooting splits, as well as collecting 8.6 boards a game. Jordan Clarkson, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, Collin Sexton, Kelly Olynk, and Grizzlies legend Mike Conley have all been huge for the Jazz this year and unless they become sellers at the deadline, they will remain in the hunt for the NBA playoffs.

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies could be in line for a rematch with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Wolves are 22-23, as of Wednesday, but Karl-Anthony Towns has only played 21 games. The Rudy Gobert trade is already being discussed as the worst NBA trade of all time, which is not a great look for Minnesota. However, with Anthony Edwards and a healthy Towns, the Timberwolves will still be competing for the playoffs and I am sure both sides would relish the chance to meet again in the playoffs.

The Phoenix Suns have fallen to 21-24, 12th in the Western Conference. They are 1-9 in their last 10 games and have been completely decimated by injuries. Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Cameron Johnson have all missed a considerable amount of time. The Jae Crowder situation is odd, and it is strange that the two sides have not come to an agreement yet. The chemistry and body language seem off with them. If Booker comes back, playing as he did earlier in the season, the Suns could be a tough playoff opponent.

After starting the season, 2-10, the Los Angeles Lakers have bounced back, sitting only two games back from sixth in the Western Conference. Anthony Davis looked like the best player in the league over a stretch of games before getting injured. Now, it has been LeBron James carrying the load for L.A. In his last seven games, James is averaging 37 points, 9.7 rebounds and 8.6 assists. He is 38 years old. Russell Westbrook has completely switched the narrative, going from scapegoat to a sixth man of the year contender. The Lakers still have the ability to make a move and they will always be a tough out if James and Davis are healthy.

Both the Portland Trailblazers and Oklahoma City Thunder deserve to be mentioned as well. The teams are right in the thick of it and it is completely possible the teams make the play-in tournament. However, the other six teams may provide more difficult matchups for Memphis in the first round. Who would you like to see them play?

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