The Spurs and the Grizzlies have been going at it for about a week now. When I first saw this matchup, I thought this series was a mismatch. I was right, but the mismatch was the Spurs trying to matchup with the Grizzlies. But maybe Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins knew what he was doing when word began to surface that they wanted to play the Spurs in the first round.
The Spurs have been thoroughly outrebounded this series so far. Simply put, the Grizzles have shown more effort and desperation than San Antonio all series long. A prime example of the effort on the boards was when when Grizzlies G OJ Mayo shot a three and missed in Game 4. PF Marc Gasol was clearly boxed out by Spurs PF Time Duncan. But instead of just excepting the box out, Gasol kept working and just ripped the ball away from Duncan and finished the play with a layup.
SG Tony Allen has also been a huge key this series. He has made plays offensively, but he has also been a defensive specialist on SG Manu Ginobli all series. Allen was the big piece that Memphis added this year, though at the time, no one knew what he brought to the team. With Lionel Hollins' new focus on defense and effort, Allen was counted on to be the leader and tone-setter he has been excellent all year at doing that.
The Grizzlies are also taking advantage of the lack of post length of the Spurs. Besides, Tim Duncan, they have no true post players. In fact, PF Tiago Splitter and PF DeJuan Blair are small and aren't ready yet and PF Matt Bonner may as well be a big guard because he's always camped out behind the three-point arc and never does damage inside with his 6'10" frame.
Memphis heads back to San Antonio for Game 5. Even if Memphis doesn't win Game 5, I still believe they will defeat the Spurs. And if it's done, Memphis would be rocking and everyone would have memories of the last time the 8 seed beat the 1 seed. That team was the Baron Davis-led Golden State Warriors and they defeated the Dallas Mavericks.