Yesterday, in the run-up to Game 5 between the Grizzlies and the Oklahoma City Thunder, I posed five questions that would factor in the outcome of the game. But when the answer to the first question — "Is the Tank Empty?" — came back affirmative, nothing else mattered.
Palpably suffering from some form of team-wide exhaustion — physical, mental, emotional — even if the players themselves refused that excuse, the Grizzlies played even with the Thunder for a quarter, but weren't capitalizing on Thunder turnovers. And when Oklahoma City finally got into an offensive groove, it was over fast.
ESPN.com's John Hollinger, who has been covering the whole series, was in Oklahoma City, and fleshes out the details here.
Now, coming home for Game 6 — which tips at 8 p.m. tomorrow night — the Grizzlies face their first elimination game of this post-season. And while there are many questions about this game, again there's one that can wipe out the rest: Can this team rally? Up until last night, this team has been incredibly resilient. But forcing a Game 7 against the surging Thunder will be the biggest challenge yet.
More on Game 6 tomorrow.