NBA semi-finals: Is there any way the Grizzlies can stop the Warriors?

Memphis Grizzlies and Atlanta Hawks fall to 0-1; Los Angeles Clippers will face Houston Rockets after eliminating the San Antonio Spurs in dramatic Game 7; Chicago Bulls prepare to face Love-less Cleveland Cavaliers

Now that it’s over, we can be honest: the first round of the NBA playoffs was something of a bust, salvaged only by the instant classic seven-game series played between the Los Angeles Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs. But, hey, maybe that just means that the postseason won’t peak early this year, right?

Well, maybe, assuming that it doesn’t instead devolve into a battle of attrition. While the quality of play should improve in this second round – the absence of the Brooklyn Nets and the Toronto Raptors can only make things more interesting – it’s not promising that the surviving teams have apparently had to sacrifice players to the Basketball Gods to make it to the second round. The course of this postseason may end up being entirely dependent on the health, or lack thereof, of players like Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Bradley Beal and Mike Conley.

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