NBA: Way-too-early bold pre-season playoff predictions for the 2023-24 season

NBA Jayson Tatum (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Jayson Tatum (Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Ja Morant
Ja Morant (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Western Conference 6th seed

6. Memphis Grizzlies

After two seasons in which it felt as if the Memphis Grizzlies were taking a step forward, they regressed a bit last season in which they were “upset” by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. It left a bad taste in their mouth and decided to make some big changes during the offseason. Memphis decided to let Dillon Brooks leave in free agency and made a splash move to acquire Marcus Smart via trade.

Those are two moves that could end up dictating how this season ends for the Grizzlies. One big obstacle that stands in the way for Memphis heading into the regular season is having to survive without Ja Morant for the first 25 games of the season. Memphis is going to tumble a bit in the standings this season.

Finishing as the 6th seed this season, the good news for the Grizzlies is that they won’t have to face the Lakers in a first-round series. However, the bad news is that they’re likely going to have to square off against one of the top-tier teams in the conference as a lower seed. Maybe an underdog role is something that would fit the Grizzlies better than being a favorite? Either way, it seems as if the Grizzlies will have their work cut out for them this season. Especially in the West.