2021 NBA Playoffs: West First Round – (1) Utah Jazz vs (8) Memphis Grizzlies

Where should the money go

West First Round – (1) Utah Jazz vs (8) Memphis Grizzlies – Series preview

(1) Utah Jazz

The BEST team in the NBA at least according to the season standings. The Jazz is a team that has completely not left off from their bubble run. Last year’s West First Round saw them losing a very close Game 7 against the Denver Nuggets. Enter in this season and Rudy Gobert is still a Defensive Player of the Year award candidate and Quin Snyder should be Coach of the Year depending on who you talk to.

They also have potential Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jordan Clarkson who averaged 18.4 points per game in the regular season. This came as the primary first man off the bench for the Jazz and an added scorer next to Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell’s game to me hasn’t taken any kind of extreme improvement and you can tell on paper. However, the best thing is he’s still the Jazz primarily go-to player for a basket. The big moments and big shots are what Mitchell supports on a team that defensively is just really tough. With that being said one of the biggest question marks here is if the Jazz can’t defend the three-point ball. Then they are in trouble. However, does Memphis pose a series three-point threat? Nope. Jazz in 5 at the most.

(8) Memphis Grizzlies

We have to kind of think of this year’s 8th seed as being unique. Technically, in the old NBA rules, the Grizzlies would be sitting at home because they failed to qualify as a top 8 seed in the Western Conference. Their commitment to go out and “steal” the 8th seed from the Golden State Warriors on Friday night gave all the reason in the world we should be ok with the Grizzlies here.

I think it’s time to stop letting the names like Zion Williamson distract us from a guy named Ja Morant. In his short NBA career himself with the Grizzlies he’s kept the franchise close to playoff talk since his Rookie season. Albeit, that was last season the Grizzlies maintained themselves in the 8th seed until the NBA bubble decided otherwise. A little bad faith in losing Jaren Jackson Jr. (who just returned and played 10 regular-season games this season) and the Trailblazers knocking them out of the 8th seed last year makes this year even better.

I’ve advised that younger players in the NBA generally do not make much of an impact early on in their careers and especially prior to the age of 25. However, Ja Morant has me rooting for him to curve that by a year or two, and let’s see the Grizzlies become a contender! Wishful thinking from me but nonetheless this is the best start for Morant’s young career.

Top players to watch

Donovan Mitchell: 2020-2021 season

  • 26.4 PPG
  • 4.4 RPG
  • 5.2 APG

Ja Morant: 2020-2021 season

  • 19.1 PPG
  • 4.0RPG
  • 7.4 APG


Schedule and Results








Game 1:
MEM leads 1-0


9:30 PM EST


Grizzlies - 112
Jazz - 109

Game 2:
Series tied 1-1


10:00 PM ET


Grizzlies - 129
Jazz - 141

Game 3:
UTA leads 2-1


9:30 PM ET


Jazz - 121
Grizzlies - 111

Game 4:
UTA leads 3-1


9:30 PM ET


Jazz - 120
Grizzlies - 113

Game 5:
UTA wins series 4-1


9:30 PM ET


Grizzlies - 110
Jazz - 126

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