Watching the first two games of the Grizzlies/Spurs playoff series, I began to give up the hope I had going in that Memphis might be able to pull off the upset, but I forgot, temporarily, about the grit and grind that our basketball team has played with in recent history, a mentality that has become a mantra not just for the basketball team, but for the city as a whole, and for that I apologize. I said some things on social media, about how downright embarrassing it was watching the Grizzlies blow their huge lead in the first quarter of game one to end up losing by almost thirty points, and at the time that’s exactly how it felt, but I neglected to consider this a part of the narrative that will lead to a huge comeback by Memphis, a comeback that will shock the basketball world. That is what we do after all. The Grizzlies thrive when everyone has counted us out, winning games that the mainstream media calls unwinnable, upsetting top ranked teams in the playoffs. That’s all a part of the grit and grind, the Memphis vs. Everybody motivation that burns in the hearts of Memphians, and propels our basketball team to unimaginable heights.
You think this series is over? It’s not. Thursday night the Spurs are coming into our house, the Grindhouse, where anything is possible, and we won’t be giving up without a fight. We have two games at home, both of which are winnable and could tie the series at two games a piece, and I’m not saying that’s how this is going to play out, but I am saying that it’s not outside the realm of possibility. In 2011 the Grizzlies won their first ever playoff game, against the Spurs with some of the same players that are still on San Antonio’s roster. I’m sure they haven’t forgotten not only losing that one game, but ultimately losing the entire series, the number one seed upset by the lowly eight seed. They know what Memphis is capable of. Do you?
A true test of character comes when one’s back is against the wall, nearly out of hope, and time and time again the Grizzlies have fought out of that corner on the back of grit and grind and emerged victorious. Why couldn’t it happen this year? When the playoff seedings were set, I was happy that the Grizzlies were matched up against the Spurs rather than the Warriors or Rockets because I truly believe that this series is winnable for us, and although it may not seem like it now, just wait until game four is finished on Saturday night. I have a feeling that the Grizzlies will pull together as a team, inspired by the passion in coach David Fizzdale’s postgame press conference last night, and make it a lot tougher on the Spurs than they did in the first two games. We’ve done it before and I’m confident we can do it again. Take that for data. It’s time to believe Memphis.