Blogtable: On the Grizz’s grit

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Indiana awakening? | Game 1 illusion or harbinger | Grading the Grizz’s chances



VIDEO: The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Thunder in OKC in Game 2 of their first-round series

> After that win in OKC, are you ready to pick the gritty Grizzlies over the Thunder?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: Not ready. Which is not to say I didn’t find Memphis’ survival in its overtime Game 2 victory to be thoroughly impressive. There were repeated opportunities for the Grizzlies to crack (and potentially have Mike Conley go into some guilt-ridden funk for some late-game mishaps), but they navigated around them. Hey, Z-Bo happened. Still, OKC has so much talent in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook it can win almost in spite of itself most nights. I’m headed to Memphis for Games 3 and 4, while hoping we get 5, 6 and 7 too.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.com: Who exactly was it at Overreaction Central that thought the Thunder were going to sweep every game into The Finals? The Grizzles are rough and rugged and are never easy to beat.  But OKC had the second-best (25-16) road record in the West and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are still too much. Things will be bruising at the Grind House, but the Thunder survive.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.com: Pick the Grizzlies? No. It was one game. Memphis with Tayshaun Prince initially and then Tony Allen, does have a way of frustrating Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook can’t keep launching bad shots — good luck with all that — but the Thunder remain the more talented team. Sweeps are hard to come by and there’s no reason to think Memphis can’t take this to six games. But pick them to win it? Nah.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: Still going Thunder. Because I think the previous 82 games mean something and because I think OKC also knows a lot about grit. It played through big injuries, still sees defense as the base of the success and developed young players while finishing with the second-best record in the West. I like the matchup for the Thunder, too. It’s not just tale of the tape with regular-season records.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: No. And it’s not because the Grizzlies aren’t great. They are. They’re better than what we should expect from a No. 7 seed. But they also had an uncharacteristically good shooting game from the perimeter on Monday and, more importantly, Oklahoma City is better. They’re the No. 2 seed for a reason, they’re strong on both ends of the floor, and they’ll find a way to loosen Tony Allen’s clamp on Kevin Durant.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: Nope. Not yet, at least. But I am feeling like we have a seven-gamer on our hands for sure. The Grizzlies will pound you into submission with their defense, especially on the perimeter. And they wore the Thunder down and made sure that they had to work for every shot, good and bad (and Naismith knows, the Thunder get up plenty of both), the entire night. That’s a recipe for a Game 7 in OKC that I think we’d all enjoy.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com All Ball Blog: The Grizz looked pretty good, to be sure, but for large stretches of the game, the Thunder weren’t really rumbling. The Thunder had their usual array of self-created obstacles to overcome, like Scott Brooks stopping a late 3-on-2 break with a timeout, or like when they needed a 2 to tie with the game on the line and couldn’t (or wouldn’t) get the ball to the presumptive MVP of the league, Kevin Durant. That said, these are fixable problems, and I think the Thunder should be able to take care of these things.

31 Comments

  1. GoGrizz says:

    Where are all the KD and Westbrick nut-riders this morning?!? I can’t hear you…. LMAO!

  2. Rhett says:

    The complete and utter lack of respect for the Grizzlies by commentators (across the board) is insulting. Grizzlies in five please.

  3. williamgunz says:

    Nobody inside the NBA picks The Grizzlies to win over the Thunder, good, but the Grizz are 5-2 against them in the playoffs? the same when they pick the Spurs in 2011, the Clipps last year to win. all in the first round. They say Thunder is a different team with Russ Westbrook, but hey they beat them at their home floor! and the next 2 is at the Grindhouse!

    • Joseph says:

      Grizz are 8-6 vs Thunder in the playoff basketball (Lost in 7, won in 5, and now 1-1). I still think the Grizz are going to win in 6.

  4. Grizzled says:

    It’s going to be interesting when the Grizz send the the Thunder home , What the excuse will be this time. Simply put ; I keep hearing how OKC is a better TEAM . I have yet to see evidence of such . If the series (since 2011) is 15-14 In the Grizz favor , then that would say even teams at the least . All I see is exactly what happened last year. Ok you got Westbrook back I’ll just say this: Two players do not a team make……

  5. okc2014 says:

    I do agree with Rico. Had Gasol been healthy all year, they would have been a higher seed. This is a very good team and is giving the Thunder a hard time. But competition os really good. If you don’t believe me, tune in to the Bobkittens/Heat games. Boring. But to me, the Grizzlies still are not very grizzly. Yes, they beat the pants off the OKC in game 2. But they will not win this series. It may go to 7 and it will be FUN to watch. I’m not scared and neither is Kevin Durant, Westbrook or Ibaka.

  6. Chris says:

    The Grizz are for real – they finished the season 34-13 in their last 47 games, including winning 20 of their last 22 at home. They will take care of business at home and win this series in 6 games. The only reason they got swept by the Spurs in the WC finals last season was partly to losing 2 overtime games, but mainly due to the distraction/dissention caused by Grizzlies management by essentially announcing that Lionel Hollins would be fired as soon as the season ended – a decision that did not rest well with the players. That resentment the players had towards management carried over into this season – as the team played less than inspired ball at home – losing 12 of their first 19 home games of the season while at the same time winning 13 of their first 20 road games – very strange. Sometime in January, the team finally decided they had made enough of a statement, and ever since they have been playing like one of the top teams in the league.

  7. jmals says:

    Hey Norfolk Virgina,

    The Lakers swept their way to the finals just to lose game one to Allen Iversen. Then they swept the next 4 games. That being said it was still a 5 game 1st round. And the West is really loaded this year. The Mav’s are in no way an easy out as an 8th seed. Thunder should win, but remember the Grizzlies knocked San Antinio out like 2 years ago when the Spurs had a great record (7 games right?)

  8. Ashwhole says:

    Remmember Grizz(8) beat the SPURS(1) and everybody said that the spurs would win the series

  9. Lets Go Heat says:

    Also Memphis had em in Game 1 as well, down 2 points. 3 Wrong Calls were made in favor of OKC, killed therir momentum they had climbed back from like 20-25 down

  10. The Grizzlies did their thing no doubt! But the knucklehead Westbrook made Game 2 more in Memphis’s favor than Memphis’s defense by shooting the ball a whopping 28 times to match KDTrey5! Westbrook has to know that when he shoots 25 or more times OKC is 14-15! That insane stat should be enough for him to know don’t shoot more than 15 times! Use the other thirteen to give more guys touches within OKC’s offense! Basketball 101!!!!! Duh!!!!!

  11. Same old story says:

    How many years until everyone figures out Westbrook should be a 2 guard and not a point?

  12. rory ramirez says:

    The Thunder did lose to the Grizz last year in five. Even with Westbrook in the lineup this time around, The Thunder seem to have a problem with the Grizzlies size and toughness. This is going to be the Thunder’s toughest test on their way to winning it all, and I believe the Grizz might just have their number. When the Grizzlies play a half court slow game the Thunder start to buckle. Good series though!

  13. Rico says:

    Grizzlies was 7th seed mainly because of Marc Gasol being out, if he was healthy all year long they could have been at least the number 3 or 4 seed

  14. NoBluffingAllowed says:

    You guys seem to forget that everything that the grizz have accomplished in the last 5 years all come from no one believing or thinking that theya re as good as they are. It only feeds the bear’s motivation. You guys continue to underestimate everything about the grizz. They can’t shoot 3’s…..they are cool with making just enough. No one can stop KD….they are cool with jsut slowing him down just enough. I mean look at it……..kd hit 35, westbrick hit 29 and they still lose. Memphis has an adaptable defense to any situation and what’s that aold saying…….defense win championships

  15. overTHERE says:

    In game one, OKC blew a double digit lead, came out strong and beat the grizz after their run. Grizz won game two, played tough, team ball and had an answer for everything OKC did. Good series, wouldn’t be surprised if Grizzlies banged it out in 6 or 7, and upset the favorites. Would Portland beating Houston in round one be considered an upset?

  16. Norfolk Virginia says:

    Anyone commenting here indicating MEM has any potential to win this series is just spewing unadulterated ignorance. On the Voyage to the NBA Finals you will suffer a loss to opponents who’ve made it to the playoffs! No team in history i know of has made it to the Finals without a loss. Now all the rhetoric about OKC just having WestBrook & KD are hogwash!!! Notice the seasoned veterans on the roster who have multiple championship rings along with the best DUO in the game right now, OKC is consistent in gaining deep playoff depth! Get your mind right HATERS!

    • JBMoney says:

      Here is some unadulterated ignorance for you……Thunder will sweep the Griz! Wasn’t it you that said that after game 1?? Maybe after the Thunder loose tonight, then it will only be ignorance instead of unadulterated ignorance. Im neither hear nor there on who’s going to win this series, but post like yours are ridiculous! The last 27 times these teams have played = 14 wins for MEM and 13 for Thunder. That said, for you to call people ignorant that think MEM has a chance…….Maybe look in the mirror for some unadulterated ignorance!

    • GoGrizz says:

      Good morning!! OKC has a bench? You didn’t believe that nonsense yourself. Grizz bench outscored OKC’s bench 34-9….. Grizz win the series in 5. Have a good day.

  17. MariusV says:

    I’ve got OKC in 6 games

  18. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    all you guys are picking OKC because it’s a SAFER BET! i would too, but i wouldn’t write dumb explanations

  19. Shawn Kemp no. 1 says:

    i really hope the Grizzlies win the series just so that Schumman looks like a total idiot, because his answer is idiotic.
    Oklahoma City is better? wow is this some new age hipster scientific joke of an explanation? you just said two sentences before that Memphis realistically isn’t the 7th seed. uncharacteristically good shooting night?? i can discredit ANY win like that. so if they have two more of these uncharacteristically good shooting nights in the next two games in Memphis, where the Grizzlies were characteristically unbeaten in the last 14 games, you and your stupid explanation will look silly. But then you will probably come up with some stupid data “when in a tied series, the Grizzlies shoot uncharacteristically good on home court”… jeez

  20. realjaystudz says:

    you guys really think the Grizzlies can beat the Thunder? The Grizzlies played a good game. I don’t know why anyone would say the Thunder should be worried. Did they forget game 1? They dismantled the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are a good team and can make any series a good one, but in the end the Thunder will win in it 6 games.

  21. GoGrizz says:

    You guys can’t be serious. Yea, OKC has talent in KD and Westbrook, but that’s all they have. If Memphis continues to make those two shoot jump shots, the series is over. The Grizz didn’t allow penetration to the rim and forced them to shoot jumpers most of Game 2. OKC has no post presence and their bench is very suspect. KD and Westbrook are their only scorers. On the other hand, Memphis has interior scorers, perimeter scorers and a decent bench. Let’s not forget that Memphis went into the Playoffs with a 14 game home winning streak.

    It’ll be 3-1 when they leave the Bluff City… Count on it!

    • okckd35 says:

      Ok homer. The thunder were downright dominating in most of game 1. Westbrook and durant are too much. Thunder in 6

    • okckd35 says:

      Every year we hear okc has no post presence. Given an injury to westbrook they would have probably made the finals again last year as the spurs cant beat okc

  22. John D. Wait4me says:

    Yep, Thunder will adjust and prevail and series is probably going down to the wire. Then they clash with the Clippers (or GSW)and then the winner meets probably SAS (or HOU/POR). Whoever goes to the Finals for the West will have had the tougher battles to get there and will be running out of gas come June. That’s why the Eastern Conf Champions (MIA/IND) will have the better chance to win it all after a pleasure cruise to the ECF… Not fair for the West teams!!!

    • Steve says:

      This is very true. If the Heat had to play in the West, they would not have as good of a record putting them in 3rd or 4th spot in the West playoffs, subsequently, they probably would not have those 2 crowns,

    • NoBluffingAllowed says:

      Thank you Captain Obvious.