Early Playoff Preview, Round 1: Memphis Grizzlies

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(Image/AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Playoffs are where stars make or break their NBA status. Players turn into basketball royalty in the playoffs.

In 2020, young faces will get the opportunity to cement their star status against this year’s Los Angeles Lakers. But what do the basketball Gods have in store for the youngsters, the first timers, and the veterans who have been so close but so far?

Come June, a chapter will close on another great season, but for now let’s take a premature look ahead into round 1 of the 2020 NBA Playoffs.

This is part 1 of a 3-part series looking at potential opponents for the purple and gold in round 1 of the postseason. Up first, the Memphis Grizzlies.

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(Image/Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports)

Lakers #1 seed vs Memphis Grizzlies #8 seed:

The LeBron James effect: If the playoffs started today, the Lakers would have a firm grasp on the first seed. With LeBron James averaging 25.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 10.6 assists, it’s clear who the team will go to run the offense.

In game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies early on in the season, James had 23 points and 8 assists, in a blowout victory. He looked fresh and ready to take on anyone the league would throw at him.

Even after an opening day defeat against the Los Angeles Clippers, which James looked shocked and rusty against Kawhi Leonard and Co, there was no doubt he was healthy and ready to put on a show for the Laker faithful.

Throughout the season James has got banged up but he’s showed that particularly the Grizzlies have nothing to give him in terms of a defender. LeBron James would dominate, it’s as simple as that.

He’s Anthony Davis!: Not many players in the NBA stand with the best in the world. Yet the only way to explain the talent personified as Anthony Davis is just shaking your head in disbelief.

Need proof? Here’s the numbers for game 1 against the Grizzlies this season: 40 points, 20 rebounds, 2 blocks, +19. Gaudy right? But wait, there’s more!

In every game this season he has had no less than 20 points, and never a negative plus/minus. Now, let’s talk about the Memphis Grizzlies for a second.

The Rookie of the Year: It should be obvious who the Rookie of the Year is. The 20-year-old is averaging over 17 points per game and 7 assists. He’s elusive, he’s graceful, he’s Ja Morant.

This guy ticks all the boxes. He may be young and inexperienced but if an All-Star talent to build around is what you want in a rookie. Morant is certainly that!

His games haven’t been particularly great against the size of the Lakers but in good time he should be more than what Mike Conley ever was in Memphis. But as of today, he is not enough to defeat the 2 wonders of the world the Lakers have.

When James said it is over when Davis went to the free-throw line in the All-Star game, it was sure over. The same can be said for this series. The Lakers should sweep 4-0.

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