Last year the Grizzlies played Boston tough all the way down to the wire at home, but eventually lost. Still many, many fans noted the energy in the building and on the team.
That was the turning point. From that game until Marc Gasol's injury, the Grizzlies were close to a top ten team in the NBA, getting several wins against championship contenders.
Can the same thing happen this year? Maybe.
The Celtics look better than ever, especially against the Miami Heat, who they've beat twice. Rajon Rondo is an absolute force, definitely a top tier player in the world; Kevin Garnett looks healthy, but still a little slower than before; Paul Pierce is still producing every night; Ray Allen is shooting lights out.
Now don't get me wrong, the Grizzlies have played well and should stand a chance. That being said, this team still hasn't shown a strong identity, which makes it difficult to beat a savvy veteran team like the Celtics. If we're not pushing the tempo from tip-off, Boston will take us out of our game and outlast us again.
Really, the only hope is that Garnett doesn't show up and Shaq doesn't play enough minutes to handle Marc Gasol. The Celtics aren't great rebounders, so if Zach Randolph puts up a Kevin Love-like performance, we could pull out an unexpected win.