Western Conference 1st Round Matchup: Spurs vs Grizzlies

Posted by By at 16 April, at 05 : 07 AM Print

Let me get this straight. The Spurs finished with the second best record in the league and the best record in the Western Conference behind the efforts of a limited-minutes Tim Duncan, injured Tony Parker & Manu Ginobili, a sub-par defense (by Spurs standards), and a new offense.

The reality of this series is that it is completely about the San Antonio Spurs and what they do or don’t do.  No disrespect to the Memphis Grizzlies, but they could bring their AAA game, but if “The San Antonio Spurs” show up, it’s a wrap.  The biggest question surrounding this series is, are the Spurs healthy enough to combat a young, hungry, fearless Grizzlies team?

The Spurs have been playing a fast pace offense throughout the season but the playoffs are about half-court offense and defensive stops, and that my friend is the Spurs’ specialty.  Just because they have been getting out running this year doesn’t mean that Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili don’t  know how to control the half-court game.  If the Grizzlies can keep games close look for the Spurs to be ready to grind it out, and the veteran leadership of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili to prevail 4 out of 5 times.

The Spurs are good enough to beat the Grizzlies without Ginobili; his services won’t be needed until the second round.  I would be tempted to say that the Spurs could also play Duncan only 22-25 minutes in this series, but Zach Randolph is no joke. Popovich has been preparing this whole team for the playoffs and the Spurs have a strong bench who could on their own beat the Grizzlies in 7 games.  Coming off the bench you have Neal, Bonner, and Hill, but my dark horse for the Spurs is Novak.

If, and this is a big if the Grizzlies have any chance of beating the Spurs it will not be on the back of Zach Randolph it will be the collective efforts of Young, Mayo, Allen, and Conley, with Gasol and Arthur being my dark horses.  Zach Randolph is going to get his, but that will not win games against the Spurs.  Something unexpected has to occur for the Grizzlies to win games against the Spurs in this playoff series. The unexpected would be for Conley to keep pace with Tony Parker, for Mayo to perform consistently, and for Young to emerge as an offensive force.  The Grizzlies status quo throughout the year will not compete with the Spurs playoff team.

The Spurs are masters at the half court game, but have developed a fast pace offense and have been running all year so they are ready for a young team like Grizzlies.  Not only can the Spurs get out and run, they are rested and have fresh legs for the playoffs.

So how can the Grizzlies win this series?  Grizzlies must attack the Spurs defense.  If the Grizzlies can attack, kick, and swing they can get this Spurs defense out of position and get easy baskets or to the foul line.  If the Grizzlies kick it to the low post and work thru Randolph they can forget it.  This Spurs defense is not as disciplined, experienced, or committed as their past champion teams.  Therefore, the Grizzlies must make the defenders rotate.  If the Grizzlies get them rotating enough, they will begin scramble which create open shots and driving lanes.  On defense Conley must keep Parker in front of him, if not the series is lost right there.


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  1. Tony Monaco, 9 years ago Reply

    If Rudy Gay was playing this is a different series !! If Manu is out for an extended period of time then the Spurs may be in trouble….Spurs in 5

  2. mikeross, 9 years ago Reply

    this post is very usefull thx!

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