On a day when the world was abuzz about Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage, the Grizzlies joined the exclusive club of 8th seeded teams to knock out a 1. Memphis joined the Golden State Warriors as the only 2 teams to do it since switching to the 7 game format, and the Knicks and Nuggets did it in 5. By the way, what in the lord’s name happened to Prince William? I remember this guy had more chicks swooning then J.T.T. in his prime. Now he looks older then my Dad with a deeper voice then Dikembe Mutombo. I was mortified in witnessing what the former boy wonder has become. Next to Willy, the rumored love child, Prince Harry, looks like Brad Pitt. On another note, why have these 2 bro’s kept the same girlfriends for years? Your princes for God’s sake. Enjoy it a little. Have a fling with the Princess of Thailand or jet off to Morocco and live with blonde triplets for a month. Something!
I remained on edge for the entirety of this game as San Antonio somehow managed to stay close, while seemingly being outplayed the entire time. Mike Conley managed to pick up a foul every 15 seconds of this contest, forcing Greivis Vasquez to play 23 minutes. One wold assume this could have costed the Grizz playoff glory, but Greivy filled in admirably, even leading them in scoring the first half and not screwing up as much as usual. When Conley did play in the first half, he was clanging jumpers and turning the ball over forcing me to yell every swear word in the book, probably making my neighbors think I was involved in a life or death situation. When Manu Ginobili hit that beyond half court 3 pointer at the buzzer to end the 3rd quarter I told my “roommate” to hide the guns and knifes, as I was in a very fragile state. You see, I’ve become increasingly attached to these Grizz as I’ve watched them blossom from cuddly cubs into savage monsters. It touches me in a special place, not the special place Michael Jackson touched little boys, but a special place nonetheless.
The fourth quarter got very interesting as the Spurs made one last run to take a 1 point lead with under 4 minutes to play. I had a terrible feeling inside that this might be going to a game 7. That was before Zach Randolph became the Prince of the south, hitting shot after shot, scoring 10 of Memphis’s next 14 points, not missing a single shot. 3 of them were just insanely sick, making it one of the best crunch time performances I’ve seen in my 28 years of existence. Lionel Hollins described it as the home team riding Randolph “like he was an English warhorse,” or Camilla Bowles Parker. It truly was even more impressive then Durant’s close out of Denver on Wednesday night. Randolph along with Tony Allen just refused to lose and I will never forget this night.
I would like to mention somewhere in this post that Darrell Arthur had to spectacular, consecutive, momentum altering alley-oop throw downs that almost brought me to tears. The first one came on And-1 basketball throw over the shoulder pass by O.J. Mayo, who by the way came in and did a nice job once again, even while not playing very many minutes. The second one came the next time down the court as Vasquez threw an almost equally impressive pass on the other side that Arthur threw down. That Pau Gasol trade is starting to not look so bad for the Grizzlies, though it did gift the Lakers consecutive titles. With the Gasol trade, they picked up his younger, debonair brother, Marc, a draft pick which they turned into Darrell Arthur, and the money available to trade for Randolph.
This season was coming out party for Randolph who has always been known as a selfish player along all his stops throughout his career. He now is an unquestioned team leader, has become a very good passer, and an elite finisher in the clutch. He was so impressive that Popovich sought him out during post game celebrations and had this to say about Zach. “I think he’s a hell of a talent and has really turned into a heck of a team player,” Popovich said. “I just wanted to let him know in my own light.” That says a lot coming from the Spurs head coach, who is highly respected around the league. You have to feel good for Randolph and you have to feel good for the Grizz. They were the better team in this series and look to shock the world once again starting Sunday night in Oklahoma City. Let’s shock the world.
About the Author
Written by LT Murray
LT hails from the city of Lakewood, Wa. He now lives in San Diego and is a writer for several websites. He loves when people comment on his posts. He is the official Memphis Grizzlies writer/blogger.