I woke up this morning to two flashback memories that gave me the mixed emotion feeling I have right now. The first was the glorious block-to-dunk sequence by Darrell Arthur in Game 4 two years ago. I remember it so vividly and what a joyous occasion. The second memory was Manu Ginobili's corner jumper in Game 5 to give the Spurs hope on the cusp of elimination. So horrid. The in-bounds. The scuffle. Then the drop.
You may be thinking, "wow, one great memory and one bad memory...what a well-balanced sequence of flashbacks." You would be wrong, well partly. Yes that Ginobili bucket was awful, but as I reflect on the block-to-dunk by DA, I think about how much has changed in this match-up over just two years just from that play. For instance: Parker is strangely better, O.J. Mayo is not on our bench, Tiago Splitter's body was taken over by an alien that happened to be much better at basketball and, saddest of all, I am not sure DA could replicate that play.
I don't want to be Debbie Downer, I simply want to state, these are not the same two teams. Several players and match-ups are the same, yet when I think of the situation of the two recent playoff series between the Spurs and Grizzlies, I see two completely different scenarios. 2011 was filled with unhealthiness for the Spurs and underestimation for the Grizzlies. Coming into the current series the Spurs are making one last strong push toward a championship and the Grizzlies are solidifying their presence as a consistent contender. Tonight is the beginning of a new series and nothing in the past matters. No underestimation. No expectations. Now is the time to make new history.
Grind Prophecies continues through the playoffs. Scores have not been updated in a while (sorry) but the prize is still the same, a Marc Gasol jersey, compliments of Grizzly Bear Blues. Good luck and GO GRIZZ!