It has been a tough begin within the bubble for the New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies, each sitting on 0-2 data in seeding video games.
Weeks in the past, when the schedule was introduced, this had the prospect to be a marquee matchup with critical playoff implications that includes two of the league’s brightest younger stars, rookies Zion Williamson and Ja Morant.
However now, after back-to-back losses, New Orleans might be barreling out of the playoff race altogether with one other defeat. Memphis appears to be like to bounce again to carry off a charging San Antonio Spurs squad that began off with two wins, and a Portland crew that already defeated the Grizzlies in Florida.
This would be the third matchup between the squads this season, with the Pelicans scoring victories within the first two — a 126-116 win in Memphis on Jan. 20 and a 139-111 win in New Orleans on Jan. 31.
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Within the first matchup, New Orleans taking pictures guard Jrue Vacation had one among his finest offensive performances of the season with 36 factors and a career-best seven 3-pointers. He was additionally key in maintaining Morant quiet for a lot of the recreation (16 factors on 5-of-14 taking pictures).
When the groups tangled in New Orleans 11 days later, Williamson was obtainable, and Memphis was lacking Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke. Williamson had a game-high 24 factors on the best way to a blowout win.
Williamson has been restricted to a mixed 29 minutes within the first two seeding video games. These minutes haven’t gone properly, with the Pelicans getting outscored by 33 factors with Williamson on the ground. The Pelicans are watching Williamson’s minutes since he missed all three scrimmages and a complete of 13 days due to a household emergency that took him away from the campus.
It is unclear how a lot Williamson will have the ability to ramp it up Monday. The Pelicans’ medical crew will meet and make that call previous to the sport.
To get by New Orleans this time, Memphis will depend on Morant and Jackson. Morant is averaging 23.5 factors, 10 assists and 7 rebounds in two video games in Florida, and Jackson adopted up a 33-point efficiency in Memphis’ first recreation with a 21-point effort in opposition to San Antonio — full with a ridiculous shot from the nook late in that one to tie the rating.
It is a powerful spot for the Grizzlies, who performed Sunday whereas New Orleans rested following a Saturday blowout loss to the LA Clippers. It is as a lot of a logistical drawback as you may have with out journey taking part in a job. However this may be absolutely the worst time for the Pelicans to drop their first recreation to their Southeast Division rival. One thing will not maintain up by the tip of Monday night time. — Andrew Lopez
This is the newest on the standings, the video games to observe Monday and Tuesday, plus all the pieces it’s good to know. Verify again right here for highlights and updates all through the day.
PAST BUBBLE INTEL: July 30 | July 31 | Aug. 1| Aug. 2
Monday’s must-see video games
Memphis Grizzlies vs. New Orleans Pelicans | 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
It has been greater than a yr since Zion Williamson and Ja Morant had been chosen with the highest two picks within the 2019 NBA draft. Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY
It is a must-win scenario for the Pelicans, who dropped their first two video games. After Saturday night time’s loss to the Clippers, Pelicans small ahead Brandon Ingram mentioned, “We most likely cannot lose any extra video games” in the event that they wish to make their playoff push. New Orleans has a 2-Zero benefit on Memphis this season, so the Grizzlies will likely be searching for a little bit of payback.
Monday’s matchup would be the second contest of the season between South Carolina natives Williamson and Morant. Williamson (24 factors) had the higher hand on Morant (16 factors) within the first assembly, though the Grizzlies had been lacking Jackson and Clarke in that recreation. — Lopez
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz | 9 p.m. ET on ESPN
This would be the third recreation for every crew and each will likely be hoping for higher performances than that they had of their second video games. Every crew opened up play in Florida with a win Thursday however stumbled Saturday — Utah dropping to Oklahoma Metropolis 110-94, and Los Angeles falling to Toronto 107-92.
A win in opposition to Utah will clinch one of the best report within the Western Convention for the Lakers with 5 video games to go earlier than the playoffs. In the meantime, Utah is in fourth place within the West, a recreation again of Denver for No. 3. Each groups will likely be trying to repair their offenses and get again heading in the right direction. — Lopez
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Extra video games
Full scoreboard for Monday
The Grizzlies aren’t the one crew taking part in the primary back-to-backs of the seeding video games. The Wizards have to return again from their 0-2 begin as properly and attempt to get an important victory in opposition to the Pacers. The Wizards misplaced to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, so that they want quite a lot of issues to go their technique to power a play-in weekend.
The Spurs, in contrast to the Grizzlies and Wizards, enter their no-rest recreation day with a 2-Zero report in seeding video games. They face the 76ers for an opportunity to remain forward of the bubble pack.
7. Orlando Magic | 31-35 (.470) | —
8. Brooklyn Nets | 31-35 (.470) | —
9. Washington Wizards | 24-42 (.364) | 7.Zero GB
8. Memphis Grizzlies | 32-35 (.478) | —
9. San Antonio Spurs | 29-36 (.446) | 2.Zero GB
10. Portland Path Blazers | 30-38 (.441) | 2.5 GB
11. Sacramento Kings | 28-37 (.431) | 3.Zero GB
12. New Orleans Pelicans | 28-38 (.424) | 3.5 GB
13. Phoenix Suns | 28-39 (.418) | 4.Zero GB
Full standings | Playoff matchups
Tuesday’s must-see video games
Dallas Mavericks vs. Sacramento Kings | 2:30 p.m. ET
Two groups badly in want of a win in Florida. The Kings come into this recreation on the heels of two straight losses that most likely value them any likelihood on the postseason — so will probably be fascinating to see how motivated they’re to play in a recreation in opposition to a Mavericks crew that has let two winnable video games slide proper by their fingertips. For the Kings to get again on observe, they want extra from Buddy Hield. He comes into Tuesday’s recreation taking pictures simply 7-for-26 over his first two video games. The Mavs may use extra from Tim Hardaway Jr. who was simply 1-for-12 in Sunday’s loss to the Suns. — Nick Friedell
Boston Celtics vs. Miami Warmth | 6:30 p.m. ET
This units as much as be one of the vital intense matchups on the campus. The Celtics acquired a much-needed win over a rejuvenated Path Blazers crew Sunday, and the Warmth have appeared each hungry and deep over their first two video games. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown mixed for 64 factors in opposition to the Blazers, however count on Warmth All-Star Jimmy Butler to assist decelerate Boston’s perimeter motion early on Tuesday if he’s obtainable. — Friedell
Houston Rockets vs. Portland Path Blazers | 9 p.m. ET
There will likely be loads of factors — numerous factors — in what figures to be one of many highest-scoring affairs of the month. These two top-five offenses rating at will, however a primary key will likely be how properly Portland can use middle Jusuf Nurkic and his top benefit in opposition to the Houston microball lineup. — Friedell
Extra video games
- Brooklyn Nets vs. Milwaukee Bucks | 1:30 p.m. ET
- Phoenix Suns vs. LA Clippers | Four p.m. ET
- Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers| 6 p.m. ET
Full scoreboard for Tuesday
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