by Carla Parker, Jersey Girl Sports Contributor

The Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies have caused some people to lose a lot of money over the past couple weeks.

I’m pretty sure folks had betted on the two teams being knocked out of the first round of the NBA playoffs. But to their surprise – and mines – the two teams came out of the first-round on top and left folks in a state of shock.

But not only did they win their first-round series, they also won game 1 of their second-round series.

The #8-seed Grizzlies (46-39) knocked off #1-seed San Antonio Spurs (61-21) in six games in the first-round. This Spurs were projected to play for the western conference title, but Memphis didn’t get that memo.

After they took care of San Antonio, the Grizzlies shock us again when they beat the highly favorite Oklahoma City Thunder in game 1 of the second-round.

Although Memphis had an average season, these young cats – or cubs – are showing that they are not afraid of the big boys of the very talented western conference. If I was a member of the Thunder I wouldn’t underestimate this team.

The #5-seed Hawks (44-38) got revenge last Thursday when they knock off #4 seed Orlando Magic in six games in the first-round of the eastern conference playoffs. Dwight Howard and the Magic have bested the Hawks in the past couple of years, including a beat down when the Magic routed the Hawks by an average of more than 25 points in a four-game sweep last year.

The Hawks got embarrassed my the Magic and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson even got booed in Phillips Arena after pissing the fans off for saying he “could care less if [fans] showed up or not.”

NBA analysts and fans thought the Hawks will finished their season with the same results. Orlando’s Jameer Nelson even told Chicago’s Derrick Rose “I’ll catch you in the second round” on national TV after the Magic lost Chicago on April 10.

But Jameer is obviously “catching” the second-round on TV at home.

But Hawks spokesman Arthur Triche did leave him two tickets for Monday’s night game, lol.

The Hawks are still proving the haters and doubters wrong after they defeated newly MVP Derrick Rose and the Bulls in game 1 of the second-round.

Say what you want about the Grizzlies and Hawks, but these two teams are not backing down from the challenge. Although it was just game 1 of the second-round, these were games that were won on the road.

Winning road games in a hostile environment says a lot about team. I wouldn’t count these two teams out. I even wouldn’t be surprised if one of them makes it to their respective conference finals.