KEY POINTS

  • The Memphis Grizzlies have not sealed their eight seed in the playoffs with several teams looking to overtake them
  • The Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs remain alive in the playoff hunt
  • The play-in tournament will feature the eighth and ninth seed battling for the final postseason spot

The NBA bubble continues to provide high-intensity basketball with the way the Western Conference standings are developing. The recent loss of the Memphis Grizzlies opens a tight race for the play-in tournament that will determine the eighth seed in the playoffs.

The Grizzlies fell short against the Toronto Raptors that guarantees a play-in tournament between the eight and ninth seed of the playoffs. The ninth spot is currently in contention among teams such as the Portland Trail Blazers, the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs.

"I'm not worried about no play-in game right now," rookie guard Ja Morant said by way of ESPN.

Despite tallying 17 points and 10 assists, the Grizzlies were unable to topple the defending champions.

"Our focus now is learning from our mistakes from this game against the Raptors and try to fix them when we go out and play Boston,” Morant added.

To add to the ever-rising tension of the league, the Trail Blazers immediately bounced back from their loss against the Los Angeles Clippers with a big win against the Philadelphia 76ers, 124-121. This was a strong statement to send for Damian Lillard as it got heated on social media against Paul George and Patrick Beverly after Dame missed two clutch free throws in yesterday's game. It was Lillard who spearheaded the victory against the 76ers as he came up big with 51 points and made 15 out of his 16 free throws.

For the Suns, they remain as the only undefeated team in the bubble and have been on their first five-game winning streak in since 2014.

The way Devin Booker has led the team has been phenomenal, as he’s showed the entire league why he’s one of the game’s top scorers. Despite this, the Spurs are also still in the postseason discussion with how they recently defeated the New Orleans Pelicans. Their victory sealed the fate of New Orleans and has officially eliminated them from playoff contention.

The positions out in the West are as tight as ever with the Grizzlies currently ranked as the eighth seed with a 33-38 standing. They are followed by Portland with a 33-39 slate. For the tenth and eleventh spot, the Spurs are at 31-38 while the Suns are behind with the 31-39 record.

The play-in tournament is set for August 15 where the eighth seed is needed to only win once to advance to the playoffs. If the eighth seed loses, then the ninth seed forces a deciding match to be played on August 16.

NBA team owners will contribute $300 million over the next decade to support initiatives aimed at improving economic empowerment in the black community NBA team owners will contribute $300 million over the next decade to support initiatives aimed at improving economic empowerment in the black community Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Kevin C. Cox