- Category: Original
16 May 2013
- Written by Kenny B. Johnson/Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Big Boy: street ball terminology meaning a person (or persons) who can completely and totally dominate a game in the paint.
In one of his biggest games of the playoffs, Zach Randolph put up "big boy" numbers, with 28 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals as the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 88-84 to win the NBA Western Conference best of seven, second round series 4-1.
A bandwagon of NBA analysts agrees that very few teams have the size to play the slow, methodical, half-court offense/defense that the Grizzlies claim as their own.
Heart-racing ... heart-pounding ... pulse shaking ... headache-having ... c'mon man! ... hoarse from screaming ... did you REALLY miss those free throws? ... a collective "whewwwww!"
All these things explain the range of emotions that this sports columnist had during Wednesday nights exhilarating and thrilling win. Grizz Nation held its breath as OKC star Kevin Durant missed an open 16-foot jumper from the left wing with six seconds left that would have tied the game. Durant ended up with 21 points on 5-for-21 shooting, the third worst performance of his playoff career.
This was definitely a team victory and Memphis was not short on its share of "big boy" plays. There was:
The steady hand of point guard Mike Conley, who added 13 points and 11 assists.
The monster dunk down the middle from Tayshaun Prince (da na da / da na da – Sports Center top play).
Several clutch jumpers in the last two minutes by the big man in the middle, Marc Gasol.
Memphis rode its "grit and grind" theme straight to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in team history! In the words of TNT analyst Charles Barkley, "the old man game of Zach Randolph dominated the game."
The Grizz now advance to play the winner of the San Antonio Spurs-Golden State Warriors series for the right to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.
Wow! The NBA Finals! Can you believe such talk Memphis?
Gone are the days of the old Vancouver Grizzlies, who had a record number of losing seasons.
Gone is the losing mentality and questionable draft picks year after year.
This team has been remade, reinvented and reborn!
Memphis is a basketball town and Y-O-U-R Memphis Grizzlies are the crown jewels that would even make "The King" proud!