NBA Playoffs 2011: Game 6 Between the Spurs and Grizzlies Is Essestially Game 7

Michael SchaefermeyerContributor IApril 29, 2011

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 27:  Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antionio Spurs battles for a rebound against Shane Battier #31 and Marc Gasol #33 of the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2011 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Tonight’s game between the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies will decide the series.

If the Grizzlies can win tonight, they will officially be headed to the second round. But if the Spurs come out on top tonight, it will force a Game 7 in San Antonio, and that is one that the Spurs won’t let get away from them.

The Grizzlies have outperformed everyone’s expectations in these playoffs and if not for two unbelievable shots by the Spurs, they would have clinched the series in Game 5.

The Spurs were the best team in the NBA for a majority of the season and were a heavy favorite to beat Memphis. However, the Grizzlies have matched up very well with the Spurs to make this the last undecided first-round matchup.

Memphis held a commanding 3-1 lead over the Spurs, but now with the series at 3-2, the Grizzlies desperately need to win tonight in Memphis just as badly as the Spurs. A trip back to the Lone Star State for a decisive Game 7 could prove too difficult for such an inexperienced team as the Grizzlies.

If the series does go back to San Antonio, don’t expect anything less than the Spurs' very best.

The winner of tonight’s game will almost certainly continue on to face the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Tonight’s Game 6 is, for all intents and purposes, the true Game 7.