The manner in which the Memphis Grizzlies deconstructed the San Antonio Spurs on Monday in taking a 3-1 NBA Playoffs series lead was striking; the Spurs usually do the whole blitzkrieg-out-of-nowhere bit, and rarely are the victims of such a bumrush. The Grizzlies smoked the Spurs by 15 points in the crucial third quarter, quite possibly ending San Antonio's hope for a fifth championship in the Tim Duncan/Gregg Popovich era.
As it turns out, even those who predicted a Grizzlies' upset didn't see that dominating run coming. From SB Nation's Straight Outta Vancouver:
[T]o see this Grizzlies team and its utter disregard for the Spurs and what The Spurs means in the NBA, and NBA playoff, lore, to see them just walk right on by all the frills and things that we believe -- and usually do -- hold some water when the postseason comes around -- the experience, the pedigree, the rings -- and to see what it means when a basketball team is simply better at basketball in a given series than another team is to actually see one of those "what-if" situations playing out in full force.
That's what makes this one different from the Mavs-Warriors of a few years ago: Dallas had just let a championship slip through their grasp a year before. When they fell to Golden State, it was the continued crumbling of a franchise that couldn't quite make it to the top. San Antonio has been there, they're seen as champions, making Game Four all the more shocking and impressive when you think that the Grizzlies simply won't let these guys catch their breath.
It was shocking last year when the Spurs were swept 4-0 by the Phoenix Suns in the second round, but San Antonio looked different -- excellent -- this season, and the Grizzlies are supposed to be too green to do this. It may not be as visceral an assault as Warriors over Mavericks, but it's something to behold nonetheless.