Follow the Grizzlies drama: they will play it against the Bucks

Another defeat, the sixth in seven games, for Tennessee, who still do not close the ticket even for play in. They need to win on Thursday.


The Gizzlies go down. They are like that cyclist who passes more than 100 kilometers escaped and is caught on the finish line, like the long distance runner who loses an incomprehensible advantage in a handful of meters, busted. They also could not with a Celtics at full capacity (107-122) and are 1-6 in the bubble. They barely had to win a couple of games to assert their remarkable lead in Florida. But they have only won one, the Thunder. The rest have been increasingly clear defeats since they spared the Blazers in their first game and fell, by the slightest too, against the Spurs in the second.

A Celtics at full capacity: that's the way it is and there's not much to do about it, but the Grizzlies have had a cross in the division of rivals. Not because of their toughness, which too, but because they rest less and play more seriously. This day was a perfect example: The Rockets let go of the Spurs without James Harden, and the Sixers didn't have a single one of their top five players against the Suns. Instead, the Grizzlies had to deal with a Celtics who did not save anything. Of course, what is being tails could end up in heads: They close on Thursday against the Bucks and it is likely that the Wisconsin team will have no interest in putting their main players within a handful of days of the playoffs, which start on Monday.

If they beat the Bucks, the Grizzlies will be in the play in. If they lose, they'll also need the Suns and Spurs to lose. There, in the last span, the future of a team that was a miracle in motion when marching eighth in the West in March will be decided. In the first year of post-Marc Gasol and Mike Conley rebuilding, no one was counting on them at that level. At Disney, and pursued by a pack, they have lowered their level of play, they have shown youthful sins, they have lost Jaren Jackson Jr through injury and they have been leaving shreds of confidence. The year will be excellent no matter how it ends, be it on Thursday tragically or in the playoffs with a smile. But the goal has been so close that staying out in injury time would be a shame. But, it is true, a shame right now that is not rulable. Rather the opposite… waiting for what bucks to find. The play in, remember, will be played on the weekend: if you win the eighth on Saturday, it's over. If he wins the ninth, the final match will be played on Sunday.

The option to surprise the Celtics and deliver the final blow to the table was soon gone. The Grizzlies defended well in the first quarter but did not exist in attack (17-24). The second they left absent and conceded a 0-11 (17-35) that in a handful of minutes was a 21-42 that seemed definitive. And it was. At the current time of the Celtics and with the little firepower of the Tennessee, the comeback was unlikely due to much need to be put to the matter. As is: the Grizzlies rowed, approached ... but they did not threaten to complete the turnaround and the Celtics put land in the middle, already definitively, in the fourth quarter.

Ja Morant, who will be Rookie of the Year in all fairness, did everything in her power: 26 points, 13 assists. Valanciunas, Allen and Clarke pushed, but Dillon Brooks (for whom the bubble is being a maze) stayed at 14 points on 15 shots. In front, 29 points from Tatum, 19 per head for Kemba Walker and Hayward and again good minutes from center Robert Williams. Another good news for the Celtics, a happy team in the bubble ... and very dangerous for the East playoffs.

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