REPORT: Play-in series in West guaranteed after Grizzlies fall to Raptors
The Memphis Grizzlies lost to the reigning NBA champions Toronto Raptors on Sunday in Orlando, guaranteeing a play-in series for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Now, the first play-in game is scheduled for next Saturday. Whichever team finishes as the No. 8 seed will need just one victory to advance to the standard NBA playoff bracket.
However, if the No. 9 seed wins Game 1, the second game will be played the following day.
With the Western Conference play-in game scheduled for Saturday, August 15 at 2:30 PM ET on ABC, here is ALL you need to know about the format!
— NBA (@NBA) August 9, 2020
The Grizzlies fell to just 1-5 in the restart after falling to the Raptors. They are now just one game up on the Portland Trail Blazers, who can move to within half a game with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday evening.
As previously stipulated, the No. 9 seed needed to be within four games of the No. 8 seed at the end of the NBA seeding games so as to guarantee a play-in series.
In fact, not only will there be a play-in series, but things have also gotten more complicated in the race for the eighth seed in the West.
The Phoenix Suns have begun the NBA restart 5-0 and are suddenly within 1.5 games of the Grizzlies. The San Antonio Spurs also defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, meaning they are also just one game back of the Grizzlies.
Memphis began the restart with a 3.5-game advantage, but they could easily slide out of the playoff picture if they fail to win their final two games.
Meanwhile, the Trail Blazers will hope to gain more ground on Sunday night, with the Suns also looking to keep pace on Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.