ORLANDO — It took awhile but the Grizzlies, finally catching a break inside the bubble and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Milwaukee Bucks star and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is suspended for Thursday’s must win game for the Grizzlies.
That’s right. In order to assure themselves a spot in this weekend’s play in round, the Grizzlies must beat the NBA’s best team now playing without its best player.
As a matter of fact, despite a 1-and-6 record in Orlando, the Grizzlies can still finish eighth if they win and Portland loses. They could also advance with a loss but only if both the Suns and Spurs lose.
The only guarantee…win and advance.
” Obviously there’s going to be so much thrown out there about the importance of this game. We all recognize it. You can read the tea leaves,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins. “The message today with the guys was, we still control our own destiny. We win, we’re in so that should be exciting.”
“It’s like a fist fight. You’re going to hit or they’re going to hit you,” said Grizzlies forward Gorgui Dieng. “We gotta be ready and go out there throwing punches. That’s all it takes. There is no more offense, no more defense. You just have to go out there and play the hardest you can.”
Grizzles and Bucks tip off at 3 o’clock Thursday.