Ya’ll think we done won something? Man, we ain’t won nothing at all. Nothing!
Did you get to see the movie Remember the Titans? It was a fantastic film full of motivational speeches and inspirational stories about a team that overcame impossible odds.
It reminds of the Grizzlies this season.
The Grizzlies won a big game last night. They won it in dramatic fashion. However, Grizz fans need to keep everything in perspective. All the team has accomplished right now is that people will say they played one of the greatest playoff series of all time.
In other words, they haven’t won anything yet.
This playoff series is going to be remembered as one of the classic playoff series of all-time. Definitely the best opening round series in recent memory if not ever but it won’t mean a thing if they don’t win the series.
And they haven’t won the series yet.
Memphis fans know only too well how a great start and seemingly insurmountable leads are never safe for Memphis fans.
Remember when the Memphis State Tigers were tied with mighty UCLA at halftime of the NCAA Championship game? Then Bill Walton went all Superman on the team and the Bruins won going away. Remember when the Tigers played Louisville in the Conference tournament and Darius Washington missed two free throws after the wink? Remember when the Grizzlies had Dallas down in Game 3 of the playoffs only to see a missed FT and a 3 from Nowitzki break everyone’s hearts? Who can forget the triple OT loss in Game 4 against OKC just two years ago?
Dare I mention the NCAA Finals game and Kansas game?
Memphis basketball has a history of not finishing things off despite being in perfect position to do so. They are in position to finish off OKC Thursday night but it isn’t a given by any stretch of the imagination.
Coach Boone: It’s all right. We’re in a fight. You boys are doing all that you can do. Anybody can see that. Win or lose… We gonna walk out of this stadium tonight with our heads held high. Do your best. That’s all anybody can ask for.
Julius: No, it ain’t Coach. With all due respect, uh, you demanded more of us. You demanded perfection. Now, I ain’t saying that I’m perfect, ’cause I’m not. And I ain’t gonna never be. None of us are. But we have won every single game we have played till now. So this team is perfect. We stepped out on that field that way tonight. And, uh, if it’s all the same to you, Coach Boone, that’s how we want to leave it.
There is an attitude in winning. It’s a refusal to accept anything less than victory. The players on the Grizzlies know this better than even their most ardent fans want to admit. Three times the Grizzlies have faced daunting odds heading into overtime only to win the game by digging inside themselves to find more than anyone expected out of them.
I know there is nothing more dangerous than a cornered, wounded animal but I wouldn’t want to step in the path of a furious Thunderstorm either. That’s what the Grizzlies will be facing Thursday night. They have to reach inside themselves and find that inner strength one more time to win this series.
And the fans can help.
The Grizzlies are sleeping in their own beds tonight. The Thunder are most likely sleeping with the lights of FedEx Forum beaming into their 9th floor bedrooms at the Westin Downtown. Hopefully they hear the sweet blues playing from Beale Street all night. Maybe they will hear a chant or two from Grizz fans welcoming Westbrook to the Grindhouse. Maybe even more than a few fans…
But that’s not the point. The point is we as Memphians, and the Grizzlies in particular, can’t be complacent simply because 88% of the teams winning game 5 on the road win the series. That means that a lot of other teams won when placed in this same situation. It doesn’t mean the Grizzlies will win. It’s not important that the Grizzlies have never lost a game 6 in the playoffs. Everyone loses eventually. It wasn’t that long ago that the Boston Celtics had never lost a game 7 at home… until they did.
So don’t get overconfident Grizz Fans. Go into the game as if the team is trailing 3-2 not leading. Go in believing that a loud home crowd can make a difference. We as fans don’t have a direct impact on games but there is a reason teams work so hard for home court advantage. Fans can influence emotions in a game. The more rabid the home base the more likely it is going to rattle the visitors and it is up to the Memphis fans to do everything in their power to rattle the Thunder.
Oklahoma City is bringing the Thunder to Memphis. Grizz fans need to bring the BOOM!
Believe Memphis but Cheer Your Heart Out As Well!