Question of the Day: Will the Memphis Grizzlies advance to the conference finals? [Updated]
Writers from around Tribune Co. discuss the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies' run through the early portion of the NBA playoffs. Check back throughout the day for more responses, vote in the poll and weigh in with a comment of your own.
K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
I said I couldn't believe I was typing it when, in a rare move, I accurately predicted that the Grizzlies would close out the Spurs. I'll use that same line when I say the Grizzlies will knock off the Thunder. (I can't believe I just typed that.)
This is no joke. And neither is the Pau Gasol trade anymore. That move netted the Grizzlies Pau's brother, Marc, and the salary-cap space to extend Zach Randolph.
Game 1 basically looked like the Grizzlies threw the ball to Randolph in the paint and said, "Stop this." The Thunder couldn't.
Continuing the trend from the Spurs series, the Grizzlies racked up a huge 52-38 advantage in points in the paint. Tony Allen has added a ton of toughness to the Grizzlies. And Mike Conley didn't turn the ball over in 39 minutes, while Russell Westbrook coughed it up seven times. The Grizzlies are on a mission.
[Updated at 11:57 a.m.:
Baxter Holmes, Los Angeles Times
The Western Conference finals will be a family reunion for two Spanish brothers by the name of Gasol -– with each duking it out down low for a shot at the NBA Finals. What fun.
I'll take the elder Gasol, Pau, over Marc in that matchup, but the fact that I'm pondering it shows my faith in Memphis, with its dominant inside tandem of Zach Randolph and the younger Gasol, to move past the Thunder in their second-round series.
Randolph is the NBA's hottest player. Marc is a 7-foot-1 force. The Thunder couldn't match them in Game 1, and won't all series.
Plus, with Mike Conley and crew, Memphis can run while pounding teams for 50-plus points in the paint.
You don't see that often. But the Lakers will, as soon as they dispatch Dallas.]
Photo: Marc Gasol and O.J. Mayo. Credit: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images