How far can the Grizzlies go?
The Memphis Grizzlies may be an 8 seed in these playoffs however they have much more potential than what your usual 8 seed would go about business. Behind who I am calling the most deceptive player in the league, Zach Randolph. The guy that looks like he could lose a couple of pounds and doesn’t have a vertical to jump over a coke can is absolutely destroying any big man that he has come up against.
Why Latrell Sprewell you might ask? Of the four eight seeds that have advanced past the first round, including this year’s Grizzlies, the 1999 New York Knicks were the only ones that got even further. They went as far as the NBA Finals where they were derailed by Tim Duncan’s Spurs in five games. The only similarities Randolph and Sprewell have are that they were the leaders of their respective eighth seeded teams.
However this by no means counts out the Grizzlies from going to the conference finals. We have seen them take away home court advantage from the favored Oklahoma City Thunder by winning Game 1 and dispose of the number one seeded Spurs team as well, so what is their actual potential.
Matching the efforts of the 1999 New York Knicks perhaps?
It is very hard to say, but it is definitely not out of the question, what they have achieved so far has created a lot of believers. Although I am not one of them just yet, the Griz have been very consistent with their play for now but I still question how long they can keep this high level of play up. They will have to win a couple more games to make a believer out of me. If they get through this round they have the possible match ups of the Lakers or Mavericks in the conference final.
Another question we should be asking is can Oklahoma City beat them?
Yes they can, they are the four seed, the numbers say they should be able to. The Memphis bigs however are proving too hard to handle, Marc Gasol and Randolph are a huge force and not even Kendrick Perkins or Serge Ibaka (I-Blocka) can do much about it. The two combined for 54 points, 23 rebounds and 6 assists. Kevin Durant has always been a bright spot for the Thunder, their other All-Star, Russell Westbrook, continues to struggle by his standards. He had 29 points but on 9 from 23 shooting, 6 assists but 7 turnovers. In order for OKC to get over that hump, Westbrook will have to start being more efficient.
Bottom line is it’s anyone’s game and if everyone comes to play it is just a bonus for us, the fans, who get to see some awesome playoff basketball.
Until next time..
Posted on May 2, 2011, in NBA, Playoffs and tagged Basketball, Durant, Gasol, Grizzlies, Kevin Durant, Marc Gasol, NBA, NBA Playoffs, OKC, Randolph, Russell Westbrook, Sports, Thunder, Westbrook, Zach Randolph. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.