Originally written on The Sport Mentalist 2  |  Last updated 11/8/14

The advertising for the NBA playoffs always reflects the drama that is the postseason. “Win or go Home” is the mantra and NBA players seem to embrace this mentality tooth and nail. The Memphis Grizzlies definitely brought this point home when they defeated the top ranked San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs last season.

The Grizzlies clawed their way into the playoffs just barely nabbing the eighth seed in the Western Conference. They weren’t happy with just making the playoffs though; they had something to prove.

And just like the eighth-placed Golden State Warriors who shocked the NBA by knocking out the number one ranked Dallas Mavericks back in 2007 the Grizzlies would send the top seeded Spurs on an early vacation of their own.Only the second time an eighth-seed has defeated a number one seed since the NBA extended the first round to a best-of-seven series back in 2003.

Even more impressive about their series win over the Spurs is the fact that they did so without one of their top scorers Rudy Gay in the lineup. Zach Randolph’s dominant play was the main reason the Grizzlies made it to the playoffs after his teammate Gay was lost 54 games into the season.
Randolph then went on to give Tim Duncan fits in their first round matchup with his big compact body and sweet shooting stroke. He would even clinch one of the Grizzlies wins in that series with a three pointer.

After defeating the Spurs, the Grizzlies would then go on to take it the distance with the Oklahoma City Thunder before being eliminated in the seventh game of that series. Not only was it a hard fought series, it was also a high scoring series with two of the seven games going into overtime.

This year the Grizzlies have themselves better positioned to make a deep run into the postseason. Although they have played without Randolph for most of the year, they are still sitting in the fifth spot going into the playoffs.

Randolph went down with a knee injury after appearing in only four games and didn’t see the floor again until about two weeks ago in the Grizzlies home loss versus the Toronto Raptors. Coach Lionel Hollins has been carefully monitoring Randolph’s minutes in hopes that once the playoffs arrive his bigman will be able to deliver the same stellar performance he gave the Grizzlies last postseason.
And if the playoffs started today the Grizzlies would be matched up against the Los Angeles Clippers who have already beaten them twice this year. Randolph didn’t play in the first game and was only playing in his fifth game after coming back from injury when the Grizzlies played them the second time.
But they do have one more matchup on the 9th of this month in Memphis. If these two teams manage to hold their current playoff positions then this could shape up to be a very interesting playoff series.

Randolph versus Blake Griffin… Marc Gasol versus DeAndre Jordan… Mike Conley pitting his skills against Chris Paul… Actually that last one sounds like it could be trouble for the Grizzlies but they did manage to get past Tony Parker last season and they almost survived Russell Westbrook.

But even if Randolph isn’t up to full speed once the playoffs begin, this time around they will have Gay there to take pressure off of him. And although they are a much higher seed than they were last year, look for the Grizzlies to once again embrace that “do or die” attitude that made them so successful in last year’s playoffs. Because in their eyes they still have something to prove.

Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist. Also check out these stories:
Rajon Rondo replacing Kidd as the new triple-double king?

Miami Heat’s road woes spell trouble for title hopes

Greg Oden: the career that never was

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao close to deal for fight

TJ Lang: Suh wanted to fight me after stepping on Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Hernandez jurors allowed to watch Super Bowl

Tiger misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’


Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate during presser

Rex Ryan: Seahawks need to ‘take the air out of the football’

J.J. Watt buys cabin in the middle of nowhere to train

Six teams have done background work on Peterson

NBA set to earn $700M through streaming deal in China

Wade Phillips is the best coordinator hire this offseason

WATCH: Serena Williams loses point for yelling "come on!"

Report: Missy Elliott joining Katy Perry for halftime show

WATCH: Jimmy Butler throws down half-court alley-oop

President Obama zings Patriots over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's Player Of The Year candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots-Seahawks

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Most unexpected MLB free agent signings of past 10 years

Five most villainous Super Bowls of all time

Super Bowl ad focuses on acceptance of gay athletes

Foster says UT boosters paid him $40-50K while in college

Ranking the repeat Super Bowl champions

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Tiger Woods, misses cut: ‘I’m only doing this so I won’t get fined’

Ranking the repeat SB champions

Roger Goodell grilled on Deflategate

Katy Perry, Russell Wilson dating?

Rex Ryan has advice for Seahawks

Super Bowl: Things you can't control

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.