Thursday, May 16th, 2013 at 10:10 am  |  35 responses

Memphis Grizzlies Advance to the Western Conference Finals

by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

Prior to Game 5 in OKC, Mike Conley told the media that his Memphis Grizzlies weren’t afraid of the moment. Conley wasn’t lying — the Grizz sent the OKC Thunder home for the summer, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.

Zach Randolph was the star (28 points, 14 rebounds), but it was Tony Allen who put the finishing touches on the Game 5 victory.

Allen atoned for his costly gaffe in the third quarter, putting the clamps on Kevin Durant down the stretch and nailing clutch free throws to seal the deal.

Per the Commercial Appeal:

“It’s surreal,” said Mike Conley. “It’s crazy to see it all come together.” Start with a point guard who was supposed to be a bust. Add a power forward who was supposed to be a problem child. Mix in a chunky younger brother, and a coach who couldn’t get a break and, c’mon, who would believe this stuff? Oh, and add a wild man from the Boston Celtics. A guy who lives for defense. A man who makes two great plays for every bad one, but, boy, he sure makes the bad ones.

Conley summed it up neatly. “Tony Allen saved us,” he said. Allen saved them from having to return to Memphis to play Game 6. He saved them from having to listen to the voices of doom. “This is a different team,” said Conley. “The heart of this team is amazing.” Conley couldn’t stop smiling the whole time he talked. He was with the Grizzlies in the bad old days. He looked around the happy locker room. [...] “I don’t want to look back,” said Conley. “I don’t ever want to go back. This right here is better.”

The gritty 88-84 win was symbolic of Memphis’ success this season — behind a bruising defense and dominant post play, the Grizzlies overwhelmed OKC.

And now they’re quite possibly the favorites to make it out of the West, and into the NBA Finals.

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  • http://www.netstakeover.com/ JetSkiJohnson

    Memphis Grizzlies are the NBA champions.

  • pposse

    This is America’s team people! If the Grizzlies win the championship this will be the best story to come out of the NBA since 1998

  • Max

    How good is Memphis in tight games?
    Like someone throw a stat at me.

  • pposse

    they won 4/5 against the Thunder just now, all games decided by 6 or fewer pts

  • Matisse


  • ATL dynamite

    Giving away the Zoo Crew and Gay? No problem!!

  • shockexchange

    It’s time for some new blood get a taste of playoff success. The Grizzlies and Warriors have made these playoffs fun for the Shock Exchange to watch.

  • Pingback: Memphis Grizzlies Advance to the Western Conference Finals | PhilaPhans – Sixers' Foul Line – 76ers (Blogs – Forums – Message Board)

  • RayJr

    How so?

  • CubicleWorker

    C’mon man how soon do you guys forget that Mavericks run in 2011? Dirk had one of the all time greatest playoff performances

  • The Philosopher

    I’m glad for Zach Randolph.
    Because, he choked big time at the foul line, last night.

  • pposse

    IF they win, this team is literally full of guys that no one else wanted. Z Bo was supposed to be the man in NY, that never happened. Gasol traded to Memphis from LA for his older brother. Conley was supposed to be a bust at PG. Tony Allen was supposed to be a Celtic, but then torn his ACL on a bonehead play and the franchise gave up on him. And the coach, who is Lionel Hollins?! The unknown defensive minded coach, and on top of all that the Memphis Grizzlies has a chance to be the first expansion team (Griz or Raps) to win while being in a small market.

    The old phrase defense wins championships will be upheld too with all of the defensive guys on the team.

  • http://twitter.com/ec_lkhaa Will Lee

    and Detroit in 2004

  • pposse

    i’m not tryin to take away from what dallas did, i just think this team if they win will basically be winning with guys that are at best borderline HOF worthy, and a young coach who might be in the HOF one day but if his career ended today, he would not be. If any of the guys on Memphis career ended today, none of them would be in the HOF imo. Dallas had Dirk and J Kidd already in there even before they won the championship.

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II

    You realize Lionel Hollins is old as hell and has been around the League for decades, right? If I’m not mistaken he’s coached in Memphis before, and he did a stint in Toronto I think.
    It’s true they don’t have any HOF players, but ZBo been a beast since beasting was conceived. He just refused to pass or play defense. Trust me, as one of the founding members of the ZBo and Mike Conley fan clubs when no one else was down, this team has great talent.

  • spit hot fiyah

    ask that fan in toronto. NOOOOOO, not this guuuuuy

  • pposse

    haha yo my bad, sometimes i use the term ‘young’ in the wrong context. Its like a term of endearment, i should know people can’t catch that on the internet but i say it anyways. Lionel Hollins is old true that, he’s ‘young’ in terms of head coaching experience, and just overall turning this Grizzlies team into a powerhouse over the past 3 yrs. Can’t hate on the way Zbo plays, and I didn’t know how nasty Conley was until this year. To me, this team plays bball the right way and they got the right pieces everywhere.

  • The Philosopher

    Conley has always been respected by me.
    These Playoffs have put him in the position as an elite point guard.
    Randolph, well…

  • Raheem Shabazz

    For the life of me I can not explain how they made it to the WCF minus Rudy Gay. I know their defense is a large part of it, but to lose a very good player and go further than you have before without him is incredible. I mean I even thought they would win it all last year when Rudy came back from his shoulder injury last year.

  • Max

    But without Gay they seem to be very good aswell, I did not see that happening. (Tony Allen clutch ft’s, Marc’s daggers, Conley,…) only expected this from Zach Randolph and holy sh*t my letters are awesome.

  • AlbertBarr

    That was an epic run and I was entranced by every moment of it.

  • bike

    Memphis Grizzlies = Island of Misfit Toys.

  • Mars

    They were the favorite the last three years. They just haven lived up to expectations yet. You so called “fans” that pop up whenever your “team” wins should know that already. Rudy doesn’t play D. And again everybody overlooks the light-skinned guys. Tay and Bay are the difference makers.

  • http://twitter.com/SarahDa35527142 Sarah David

    my frіеոd’s m○m mаκеs $77/һ○υr ○ո tһе іոtеrոеt. Sһе һаs bееո  υոеmрl○yеd f○r tеո m○ոtһs bυt lаst m○ոtһ һеr раyсһесκ wаs $16834 jυst  w○rκіոg  ○ո tһе іոtеrոеt f○r а fеw һ○υrs.  һеrе’s tһе sіtе t○ rеаd m○rе, ..Fox83.com

  • Max

    Conley, ZBo and Marc started playing better.
    You still have Tony Allen, Bayless, Ponderxter, DA,even Prince who will contribute.

  • Junior Taylor

    Memphis became a better team when they traded away a guy that took inefficient shots and became strictly an inside-out team.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez

    what bout the pistons in 04?

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez

    wish they woulda kept Gay. the missing scoring presence is gonna hurt them

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez

    he def was struggling

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez

    i wanna see that match up too

  • pposse

    no HOFers but they had a HOF coach; that team does deserve recognition it was an improbable victory for sure.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni D dot Sanchez

    didnt consider the coach, you got me.

  • melvo

    I love this Grizzlies team, but I’m not sure how far they’ll get. I feel like the Spurs (they haven’t won yet, but c’mon) have always been the team that crushes the dreams of young, up and coming teams who want to make it to the finals.
    Even if Memphis did make it, I have even more doubt that they can beat Miami in 7 games. Just don’t see it happening.

  • flight9

    i hope they make it to the finals and kill miami (if miami advances)

  • http://www.facebook.com/starkpwnsyou Joshua Maria Peter Bautista

    Hey, what would be a cool name fo these bandwagon Grizz fans? HiberNation?