OKLAHOMA CITY -- Memphis players follow the lead of coach Lionel Hollins and like to say they have accomplished nothing yet. That may be true of the long run, but after surviving a furious rally at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night for an 88-84 victory, the Grizzlies are headed to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history. Memphis again won four straight playoff games to clinch a series and now awaits either San Antonio or Golden State.
Here are three observations from a win that wasnt decided until a pair of Tony Allen free throws in the final seconds:
1. In an up-tempo NBA, Memphis is playing the big bully. That attitude starts on defense.
Memphis bucked the trend again. In an up-tempo league, the Grizzlies have bullied their way to the conference finals, beating two high-powered teams to open the playoffs. Memphis believed it could beat Oklahoma City with or without Russell Westbrook, and now a scary team at home has become a scary team on the road.