The Crazies Are Alive And Kicking

04.30.11 7 years ago 32 Comments
Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph (photo. Nike)

Boxing promoters would’ve been proud. The Spurs and Grizzlies put together one long 15-round fight. It was like the end of the Departed. There were bodies everywhere. The Grizz couldn’t knock out San Antonio; the Spurs weren’t letting go. But Zach Randolph (31 points, 11 rebounds) wasn’t having it, and down the stretch he made the difference in Memphis’ series-clinching 99-91 win … The visitors finally came back to take the lead with just under five minutes to go after Memphis had two straight shot-clock violations. But immediately after the timeout, the Grizz jumped all over the Spurs, going on a game-changing 10-2 run, highlighted by two shots from Z-Bo that were straight out of Billy Hoyle’s repertoire. In the final minutes, it actually felt like Memphis finally broke the Spurs’ will. Did anyone EVER see that coming? … That crowd was so loud last night, we could barely hear Mike Breen and the crew during the pregame talk. Memphis was never known for their rabid fans, but it’s funny what the playoffs and a 3-2 lead can do. It was a complete mad house. The only thing they couldn’t done to make it better would’ve been to hand out bear masks. Almost immediately, Memphis scored 14 straight points. It felt like every possession ended with the Grizzlies ripping someone in black. Their defense was incredible all series long. Every pick-and-roll was contested. Every close-out was pushed to the limit, the Grizz defenders nearly fouling on every shot. The Spurs’ offensive possessions turned into mosh pits. The ringleader was Tony Allen (11 points). How good must he feel? He went from a career ninth man to a guy who has crowds chanting his name in the fourth quarter of playoff games. Isn’t it kind of ironic that Boston gave away the most-Celtic player of all? … The first half was played at the Grizzlies’ tempo, and they succeeded at turning the Spurs into a long, two-point shooting team. San Antonio won 61 games this year because of their three-point shooting, but Memphis’ close-outs were exceptional all series. Last night, they were at their best. Despite all that, the Spurs bench scored 23 first-half points and had the deficit at only three at the half. At the end of the third quarter, Memphis finally reopened the lead, going up seven. But Manu Ginobili (16 points) hit a runner from midcourt at the buzzer. Right as he was shooting it, we already knew it was buckets. He’s like the anti-Samson: the more hair he loses, the more powerful he becomes. Still, Memphis’ defense on Manu all series was described by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich as “like he’s got two Bruce Bowens on him.” … If it wasn’t for Tony Parker (23 points), who finally woke up in the series’ final two games, it would’ve been over earlier. The Frenchman was the Spurs’ offense in the second half, repeatedly going one-on-one and scoring against Mike Conley … After being just the second number-one seed to ever lose to an eight seed in a seven-game series, what’s next for the Spurs? Do they have anything left? They might’ve lost this series, but you can’t tell us that Parker and Manu are done. No way … Check out this tweet last night from Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix: Hollins just grabbed H. Haddadi and yelled at him to tuck his shirt in. … Popovich and his dry humor in the postgame: “I’m gonna get a bite to eat and drink a … Gatorade.” … Oklahoma City has to be happy. They didn’t beat San Antonio once all year…and now they will host their second straight series. That one will open at 1 pm ET on Sunday, followed by Boston and Miami. Then on Monday night, Atlanta and Chicago open the festivities at 8 pm ET while the nightcap will be the first game between Dallas and L.A. Who do y’all got? … So you’re not sure how Dwight Howard would look in another uniform? It’s all good. The Orlando Sentinel has you covered. You can see him with the Laker purple and yellow. And amazingly, you can also put him on the Flint Tropics, the Harlem Globetrotters or Orlando’s once-WNBA team, the Miracle … In news from the “news-that-isn’t-really-news” department, Derrick Rose appears to have won the NBA’s MVP. C.J. Watson broke the update with this tweet: Congrats to drose on winning the MVP he’s played unbelievable this season!!! now just need tibs to win coach of the yr … We’re out like stopping Z-Bo.

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