Will another opportunity slip by the Memphis Grizzlies?
Though the pesky eight seed already knocked off the San Antonio Spurs, and have given the Oklahoma City Thunder a tough series, there remains lingering thoughts about the Game Four triple-overtime loss at FedEX Forum.
After losing Game Five in Oklahoma City, this improbable run may finally come to an end when they return home to Memphis in a Game Six on Friday, trailing the Thunder 3-2 in the series.
Should there be a Game Seven, it will be in Oklahoma City on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks are waiting on the result of the series, and will face either team at home in Game One of the Western Conference Finals.
Should the Grizzlies lose the series, they will no doubt look back at Game Four. The Grizzlies had a slim lead in the second overtime, but weren't able to hold on in the final minute. Guard Tony Allen admitted that the Thunder wanted Game Four more than the Grizzlies.
With that game behind them, as well as the Game Five shooting struggles where the team mustered only 72 points off a 36 percent field goal percentage, the Grizzlies know that Friday's game will test their resolve.
People think we're done, but we believe. We stick together as one team with one goal, said Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies leading scorer.
The Thunder, meanwhile, would love to finish off Memphis, and get to work on the Mavericks, who have had plenty of rest after sweeping the Lakers.
Oklahoma City may feel they escaped the last time they played in Memphis and need to consider the role that guard Russell Westbrook plays on the team. Some have said that Westbrook is not distributing the ball enough and has taken too many shots.
With Memphis owning an offensive edge in the interior, Kendrick Perkins's defense will be key for the outcome. In the Game Four thriller, Perkins fouled out, and he fouled out in the Game Three loss to Memphis.
As always, the Thunder will rely on the scoring of Kevin Durant. The NBA First Teamer remains a tough defensive assigment for Memphis.