The 2011 NBA Playoffs featured three elimination games on Thursday and all three teams that had a chance to close out their first round series did so. Friday night we will see if that trend continues as the young Memphis Grizzlies get another chance at eliminating the mighty top seeded San Antonio Spurs.
You will recall that the Spurs were home for Game 5 down 3-1 to the Grizzlies and in the final seconds of the game needed to huge shots to tie things up in regulation. Tony Parker came alive in overtime and the Spurs pulled off yet another in a long line of miracle playoff comebacks. We've seen the impact these heartbreaking losses can have on teams that aren't mentally tough.
The Game 1 defeat in similar fashion destroyed the will of the Phoenix Suns in 2008. It will be very interesting to see if the Grizzlies do a better job of bouncing back. One positive sign that we never saw from the D'Antoni Suns was an immediate focus on the future. After the Game 5 defeat, coach Lionel Hollis talked about washing away that game and focusing on the future. He, and subsequently his players, didn't want to talk about what went wrong. Unfortunately, that's not something the Suns ever did. They always got stuck in the internal blame game and it killed them.
Game 6 of this wonderful series between the Spurs and Grizzlies tips off at 6:00 p.m. Arizona time on ESPN. Don't miss this one.