- Category: Original
13 May 2013
- Written by Kenny B. Johnson/Special to The New Tri-State Defender
At the end of any Memphis Grizzlies win at the FedExForum, this familiar song can be heard blaring loudly across the sound system: "Whoomp! (There it is)."
The song, made popular by rap artist Tag Team, relates precisely to what the Grizzlies did in their 87-81 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday to take a 2-1 series lead in this Western Conference Semifinal.
The Grizzlies used every form of "tag teaming" possible in the win.
Consider these examples:
Marc Gasol scoring a game high 20 points, including 16 in the second half.
Tony Allen having his best game of the series with 14 points.
Jerryd Bayless and Zach Randolph pitching in with 14 and 11 points respectively
The win keeps the Grizzlies undefeated in "The Grindhouse" in the postseason.
Collectively, the combinations proved lethal for the defending Western Conference Champs, who are now in a must-win situation for Monday night's Game 4, again at the FedExForum.
'"We just stayed after it like we've done all year long,'" Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "It's not always pretty. Tonight wasn't pretty, but it was pretty for us because we got the win."
Pretty or ugly, blow out or close win, easy or dramatic – the sellout Memphis crowd seems to always will the Grizz to much-needed wins.
The questions now is this: Can the age and experiences from last year's playoff series loss help the Grizz hold onto home-court advantage?
"We're in the same position now, so it's time for us to conquer that moment and take advantage of these games that's ahead of us and try to win two games," Allen said Sunday.
The Grizz have vivid memories of OKC beating them 133-123 in triple overtime in the 2011 semifinals, which tied the series at two games apiece, and eventually led to the Thunder winning the series in seven games.
But fear not Grizz Nation!
This is a new year ... new team ... new grit ... new grind ... we believe!