Health, luck put Griz in playoff hunt

PER Diem: Jan. 20, 2010

Updated: January 20, 2010, 1:55 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

It's no surprise that the team with the best record in the West since Nov. 14 is the Lakers, at 25-7.

What is surprising, however, is that the next-best record belongs to Memphis, at 21-10. The Grizzlies began the season 1-8 after an ill-fated dalliance with Allen Iverson. But they have since launched themselves headlong into the Western Conference playoff chase with a series of surprising victories, most recently Monday's nationally televised win over Phoenix. Heading into Wednesday's game with the Hornets, the Grizzlies stand just a half-game out of the eighth seed in the West and just three games out of a top-four playoff seed.