Can the Memphis Grizzlies Close Out the San Antonio Spurs?

by April 29, 2011

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

The San Antonio Spurs know they’re lucky to still be playing Playoff basketball. Hell, they flat-out admitted this much following their incredible, thrilling Game 5 over the upstart Memphis Grizzlies.

Though understandably shell-shocked by the crushing defeat, Memphis has a chance to put the Spurs away for good tonight (and potentially, Game 7 back in San Antonio), and the Grizz claim that they can’t wait to get back on the court.

From the Commercial Appeal:

Zach Randolph couldn’t sleep. Mike Conley and several teammates spent the night watching their Game 5 loss again and again. The Grizzlies insist that they won’t be reeling when their playoff series with the San Antonio Spurs shifts back to FedExForum tonight for Game 6. They’ll be restless. “I wish we could play right now,” Randolph said Thursday shortly after a noon film session.

“We’ve always played better with an edge,” Griz forward Shane Battier said. “After two wins we may have lost it. But being around us (Thursday), I have a feeling the edge is back.” History still is on the Grizzlies’ side. Only eight teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series. Plus, the Spurs are 0-5 all time when facing that situation since Tim Duncan arrived. San Antonio has to win three consecutive games to break those trends. The last time Memphis lost three straight was Dec. 17-21. “We’re confident,” Randolph said. “It’s going to be a tough game. Everybody is going to have to contribute to get this win. It’s definitely a must-win situation.”

Lionel Hollins strongly advised his team to forget the shock of the Game 5 loss, and judging by their statements to the media, they’re ready to do just that.

Now, it’s only a matter of the 8th seed knocking off a proud, veteran championship team (which won the most games in the Western Conference this season.) No big deal, right?