The Memphis Grizzlies are doing exactly what they should be in the NBA Western Conference playoffs – beating a Thunder team without their second option in Russell Westbrook. What’s happening in this year’s playoff run for the Grizzlies isn’t necessarily a surprise, but everyone looks for a good redemption story. You can even call this the Playoffs of Redemption for the Grizzlies. You can follow that story every night here.
They really are doing much more than what most experts would have thought they would, especially since no one saw Westbrook going down. While no one wants to beat a depleted team – that’s what happened this time around.
However, who’s to say that the Grizzles would have fallen against the Thunder with a healthy Westbrook?
Sweet Revenge Part 1
While redemption is assuredly the word that we’re using, we could just as easily use the word revenge for Memphis’s playoff run thus far. The 2012 playoffs ended with a series loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Of course, the worst of it was the fact that the Grizzlies showed the grit and the resolve to face adversity and battle back after going down 3-1, with the Clippers taking both games at Staples. In coming back to Memphis, the team knew that they had to win decisively at FedExForum to swing the momentum back their way. They did that. The Grizzlies also won the game in L.A. to send it back to Memphis.
We all know what happened then.
This year – while there were a few ups and downs in the series with the Clippers – it wasn’t nearly as dramatic. The Grizzlies showed the Clippers what “Grit and Grind” is all about. In all honesty, the series was never truly in doubt. The Clippers were beat rather soundly.
That brings us to the Thunder, the defending Western Conference champions who had the pleasure of breaking the spirits of Grizzlies’ fans in the 2011 NBA playoffs. The series here was scarily similar to the Clippers series with extremely tough games that needed a 7th one to decide the fate of the teams, though the Thunder had the seeding necessarily to close it out in OKC.
That leads us to present time. The Grizzlies now have dispatched an Oklahoma City club that was searching for answers, but did not find any solutions to the Grizzlies’ tactics.
One of the more interesting things about this year’s playoffs is that the Grizzlies had the chance to rather decisively beat two teams that eliminated them from playoff contention in the past couple of years. What’s more is that they have a chance to do it in one run. There really hasn’t been a better time to be a fan of the Memphis Grizzlies, as they’re finally getting what they deserve – an opportunity to exact their revenge. They also have the opportunity to do it with one of the toughest teams that we’ve seen in quite some time. Memphis is definitely exorcising the demons of their playoff’s past.
Sure, it may not be pretty – but I’m sure that Memphis fans would want it no other way.
Author: Lamar Hull is a former NCAA basketball player who loves to write and research sport’s topics. Lamar is a huge NBA and Memphis Grizzlies’ fanatic. Lamar spends most of his time writing and still plays basketball from time to time. You can follow Lamar @lamarhull20