- Siwale Chabala
Can the Grizz Pull This Off?
The Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs series is now tied at 2 and headed back to the Alamo. If you missed Game 4, then you are just plain out of your mind. Not only was it the best game of the series, but it was the best game of the entire playoffs. Very entertaining NBA action. The two heavyweights went back and forth in a slug-fest that went into overtime. Ultimately, the Grizzlies came out on top, 110-108.
Memphis had a solid lead towards the end of the 4th quarter until Kawhi Leonard channeled his "Airness", Michael Jordan and score 16 straight points to eventually tie the game and push it into overtime. Kawhi was unstoppable out there. He had 43 points and was playing great defense on the other end. This wasn't enough ,however, as Mike Conley had another sensational game. "Captain Clutch" took his game to the next level. He dropped 35 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds. Any big basket Kawhi made, Conley answered. Even though it was Marc Gasol hitting the game winning one handed, lucky floater over Lamarcus Aldridge, Conley was the one that did all the heavy lifting, putting the Grizzlies in that position to win the game.
Now Memphis has a chance to pull the upset win against the Spurs. All they have to do is steal Game 5 or 7 in San Antonio. More than likely it would Game 5 because it's a difficult task to win a Game 7 on the road in the NBA.
If the Grizz can keep that game close, then the pressure will be all on the Spurs. Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph will have to play like they did Games 3 and 4. Conley needs to be aggressive scoring and creating chances for his teammates. Gasol needs to show his leadership on both ends of the court. Z-Bo needs to do what Z-Bo does, getbuckets on the block and rebound the ball. But these three can't do it alone, their supporting cast will have to step up especially if they are trying to get a game in San Antonio. The role players have to come up with key plays. For example, in Game 4, an important defensive play that was overlooked was made by 2 year guard, Andrew Harrison. Grizzlies were down 2 points in overtime, Memphis turned the ball over and Spurs had a fastbreak for an open lay up. Harrison hustled back and ended up blocking the lay up attempt. If he doesn't do that, the Spurs more than likely win the game. Your superstars can only take you so far in the league. It will be up to the supporting cast to step their game up if the Grizzlies are going to defeat the Spurs in what would be a bigger upset than the one they pulled against these same Spurs in 2011.