Every night, there seems to be a new contender for the most exciting play of the 2011 NBA playoffs. Considering that the San Antonio Spurs were a missed buzzer-beater away from being eliminated by the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies last night, Gary Neal’s uber-clutch three-pointer to send the game into overtime might be at the top of the list. For now, anyway. Fox Sports Southwest announcers Bill Land and Sean Elliott definitely captured the excitement of the moment in the above clip.
However, if you were listening to the Grizzlies’ announcing team of Pete Pranica and Brevin Knight like I was on the NBA TV broadcast, you could be excused if you thought the announcers’ microphones got disconnected in the seven seconds of silence after Neal buried the trey. As you’ll hear after the jump, Pranica’s eventual reaction exhibited the same enthusiasm any one of us might have while telling our friends that we have to stay in tonight to fill out tax return forms.
To be fair, Pranica is really just channeling the sense of creeping dread that most Grizzlies fans must have felt after that shot. Keep in mind that they’ve never won a playoff series in their 16 seasons in existence, and they were thisclose to finally breaking their playoff cherry against a franchise that had won four championships over the same period. Sure, they have two more games to pull off the upset, but when you have a team like the Spurs in that position you really don’t want to let them off the hook and give them a chance to reassert their dominance — just like they did in overtime.
As for how Spurs fans felt after Neal’s shot, well… see for yourself.