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To bring a modest demand upon the Grizzlies, they should win half their road games this month. One shouldn't ask too much of a team that's 6-10 on the road and shoots 3.1 percent worse on the road.
The Grizzlies' 10 road games include only four games against teams with winning records, which softens the difficulty a bit. The Grizzlies are 1-7 against teams that currently have a winning record.
Still, the road schedule features a couple of particularly significant challenges. First, they'll play three sets of games on back-to-back nights this month. One of those, a two-day stay in Los Angeles to play the Lakers and Clippers, will be on the back half of their West Coast road trip.
The West Coast road trip is an important hurdle to jump. The Grizzlies couldn't manage to remain strong during their West Coast trip in January. After beating the Golden State Warriors, they lost three straight to the Portland Trail Blazers, Clippers and Phoenix Suns.
Gasol did poorly on the trip, averaging 14.5 points in the four games and shooting 43.8 percent.
As a team, the Grizzlies were horrendous offensively, averaging 87.5 points per game and shooting 39 percent.
Gasol and the Grizzlies will have to do much better this time when they travel west in the third full week of March to face the Sacramento Kings, Blazers, Lakers and Clippers. To fail on that trip would set a sad tone for the home stretch. The western trip is the start of seven road games in eight heading into the beginning of April.
To slide in that stretch might mean falling out of the Top Eight in the conference, depending on where they stand at that point.
To win five of 10 games on the road in March, along with a five-game sweep at home, would put the Grizzlies in perfect position come April. Further, those five wins should include one or two in the western road trip and two overall against winning teams.
If the Grizzlies want to appear to be a real playoff team, they need to beat good teams on the road.