It seems like such a long time ago when the third seed in the NBA Playoffs was still in question and was being battled for furiously. The Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies fought strong for home-court advantage with the Nuggets closing out the regular season strongest of all.
The Grizzlies are the only team that remains in the fight for a championship of these three and they are in a great position to make a run for the NBA Finals.
Without Russell Westbrook the Oklahoma City Thunder struggled to find rhythm. Kevin Durant can only do so much. Despite being the number one seed and definite favorite to come out of the West, it appears the Thunder will have to wait until next postseason to try their luck again. It now is clear that Durant needs Westbrook like Jordan needed Pippen.
The Grizzlies handled the Thunder defensively and offensively and the way Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and even veteran Tayshaun Prince have been playing they might even be a favorite to beat either the San Antonio Spurs or Golden State Warriors in the franchise’s first trip ever to the Western Conference Finals.
Gasol was named the Defensive Player of the Year and he leads a team that gives up points stingily. Randolph and the Grizzlies play a great half-court game and have blown away all expectations coming in as the fifth seed.
Before the playoffs started, not many could have expected the Grizzlies to be the team coming out of the West. Now, it looks as though they will take their suffocating defense against the Miami Heat for a chance at an NBA title.