Bound 4

We did it. Grizz Nation hurled constant positive energy in the mix and we did it. The Grizz have made the playoffs for the fourth season in a row (hence the Kanye West play on words in the title). We hit 50 wins on the season, but more importantly, we dodged the Spurs, ladies and gentlemen. But what now?

 

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

You have to admit it’s pretty funny: all of this focus on achieving the 7th spot. We detested sitting in the 8th spot, not because we were at the bottom of the pack; because we were on the fast track to facing the most formidable NBA team in recent memory. The funniest part of the whole thing is that the Western Conference regular season ended as a “Don’t Play the Spurs Bowl” (as my friend Clayton so eloquently put it). While defeating the Mavs and stealing the 7th seed in that last game of the season, I wasn’t thinking about victory. No no. I was laughing and thinking, “Have fun with the Spurs, suckas.” The Spurs haunt my dreams and for good reason.

Maybe the joke’s on us. If this was the Eastern Conference, Grizz Nation would be looking at a 3 seed. The competition in our conference is disgustingly fantastic. The combined regular season wins of all Western Conference teams is the most in history since the 8-team playoff format. 

We did all that work just so we could avoid Pop and his incredibly efficiently yet boring lineup. And look what we’ve got now- one of the most exciting teams in the NBA, The Oklahoma City Thunder. But we play that game better than anyone. We’re exciting and thrilling and, at times, wonderfully horrifying. 

Here’s what we’re working with:

Game 1, April 19, Memphis at Oklahoma City, 9:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)

Game 2, April 21, Memphis at Oklahoma City, 8:00 p.m. EST (TNT)

Game 3, April 24, Oklahoma City at Memphis, 8:00 p.m. EST (TNT)

Game 4, April 26, Oklahoma City at Memphis, 9:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)

Game 5, April 29, Memphis at Oklahoma City, TBA (if necessary)

Game 6, May 1, Oklahoma City at Memphis, TBA (if necessary)

Game 7, May 3, Memphis at Oklahoma City, TBA (if necessary)

 

(Photo Cred- Joe Murphy)

(Photo Cred- Joe Murphy)

 

So, I’d like to say congrats to Joerger for his title of Western Conference Coach of the Month. Oh, and he also just wrote himself into the Grizzlies history books with this playoff appearance in his first season as head coach.

Let’s take this post season one game at a time. I’m not going to speculate or make any predictions today. This could really go either way- since our last meeting on February 28, the Thunder haven’t been playing their best and we’ve done relatively well. I do, however, have a hunch that we could split the first two games in OKC. Just a hunch.

Until then, you can find me at Silky’s watching it all unfold with greatest folks on the planet. Yeah, that’s right. I’m in Memphis.

Memphis Grizzlies @ OKC Thunder

ESPN

Tipoff: 8:30 pm (ET)

 

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Getting in the Groove

Things have changed for this Grizzlies squad, and in this case, change is so good. Once again, we’re the team you don’t want to play. The solid additions of Courtney Lee and James Johnson paired with Marc Gasol’s glorious return re-energized the team and the fan base. Oh, and Mike Conley is playing like an All-Star PG right now.

All credit goes to the faux hawk. images

We’re a half game out of the eighth spot behind the Mavericks. So if things go our way, we could be looking at a serious playoff run. 

Here’s what the Western Conference looks like:

1. OKC Thunder

2. San Antonio Spurs

3. LA Clippers

4. Portland Trailblazers

5. Golden State Warriors

6. Houston Rockets

7. Phoenix Suns

8. Memphis Grizzlies

Round 1: Grizz vs. Thunder

All the hype around KD’s insanity in January can’t cover up our impressive track record against the Thunder. We historically play well against them, so this is an ideal matchup.

Round 2: Grizz vs. Trailblazers or Warriors

We have a decent chance with both of these teams. They’ve got the high-octane offenses that we can overwhelm with our top-notch defense.

The one team the Grizz need to avoid is the Spurs, but that’s a given. The rest of the West isn’t too intimidating right now. So Grizz Nation, it looks like  we’ve got a pretty solid shot at a little 2011 déjà vu. This could get good.