I love it - well done, Chris. You've done a great job of capturing some of the personality of this year's team (and the organization/fanbase as whole). Whether this is the start of a multi-year conference final run or the swan song of this core, it'll go down as an incredibly unique and likable team.
If we can limit their score to just one point below ours, we got this.
I'd bet that you think a Rudy Gay would help the Grizz out Wolfgang, wouldn't you? After all, he's 6-9, can jump out of the gym and get his own shot whenever he wants.
The comparison for the Grizz is the old Pistons title team with Rip Hamilton, Billups, Ben Wallace, Rasheed, and Tayshaun. They didn't have any NBA title caliber players either according to your definition, but they dispatched of a Laker team with 4 Hall of Famers (Kobe, Gary Payton, Shaq, and Karl Malone), and they did it in 5 games.
What they did have was a team full of elite defensive players and a few players who could make just enough happen on the offensive end, a lot like this Grizzlies team. I believe we are the only NBA team with 3 starters who made first or second team All-Defense. When you have that, you can get by without a prototypical offensive creator.
You are correct though that typically you have to have at least one or two of those elite scorer types to have a shot at an NBA title, but it isn't a hard and fast rule. The Pacers are constructed similar to this Grizzly team, and they are in the same position we are. You can bet they're going to give the Heat everything they want and then some. There isn't just one formula for success in the NBA.
As I've said before, you better hope that the Grizzlies haven't figured something out with the Spurs. If they have, this series is going to go deep, and the last thing you want is to end up in a Game 7 with a team that thrives on physically wearing you down. Personally, I think we're sitting here at 2-2 come Tuesday morning, and I think the Spurs will feel a lot of pressure going into Game 5 to figure out how to counter the changes the Grizzlies make for these next two games.
Nice analysis, but it does not address the fact that the Grizz just don't have the championship caliber players needed to win an NBA title. Tony Allen's antics don't help team cohesion either. Grizz could be very dangerous with a playmaker and a couple of true scorers.
It all comes down to the wing rotation for me.
As mentioned, I think when Tony is in the game, I think he needs to be guarding Parker. In fact, I would try to rotate his minutes in such a way to maximize his time on Parker.
I think that'll be the best way we can slow the efficient Spurs offense. It also gives an added benefit of helping protect Conley from foul trouble, while also allowing him some rest on the defensive end if you can have him guard more of a spot up shooter.
Obviously, you have to limit the minutes Allen and Prince play together as well. If Lionel doesn't want to disturb the starting line up, he has to have a quick trigger, which I think he will, and Q better be in quickly.
When Tayshaun is in the game, I like the idea of playing him some on Parker as well to give Conley the break while also forcing Parker to work a bit harder against a bigger defender. I also like the idea of having him play more of a back up point role to give Conely some breaks on offense, even if Conley is on the floor with him. That's where Tayshaun's value will be.
Other than that, it's going to require a lot of minutes for Bayless and Pondexter the rest of this series. If we do that, I think we get the big fellas both going, and I think we make this a series.
I prefer The Spaniard!
I don't think you can write off the fourth quarter due to Duncan's foul trouble without acknowledging that the Spurs didn't get any separation earlier in the game until Conley's phantom third foul forced him out in the second.
While I agree with most of Chris's assessment, I don't think Zach is our biggest problem. We need to make some outside shots, especially mid range jump shots and three-point baskets to open up some room for him to work inside. Every time we've been bounced from the playoffs its been because of our lack of outside shooting.
Give Zach some room to operate and he'll deliver. Guaranteed. Anyway, how can you put most of the blame for a loss on a guy who pulls down 18 rebounds?
Stopping Parker's penetration is also one of our biggest problems. I suggested putting TA on him even before the series started, but I'm still afraid he might take his task to seriously and get in foul trouble, and be unavailable when we really need his defense. With the way Bayless is playing this is less of a concern to me now. We're not going to beat the Spurs with good defense alone. We're going to have to score in the nineties to win the series.
My last criticism is of our teflon center, Marc. Lately he's been getting all of the awards and accolades, and little of the criticism for the team's struggles. Though he's become a very good player, his lack of offensive aggressiveness is killing us. Not only is he looking to pass when he's open above the free throw line, his refusal to take the ball aggressively to the hole and dunk has cause two critical layups of his to be blocked. The last one in SA really cost us. Marc reminds me of his brother Pau in too many instances with his lack of aggression. He needs to realize we don't just want him to score, but need him to score.
I wish more people would call Marc "Wendigo" a phrase which HP Basketball coined, I believe.
No mention of the giant Eva Longoria head when we played the Spurs in 2011? Otherwise excellent.
Check out these awesome and unique Grizz shirts.
"We Dont Bluff City"
"Kill Em With Grindness"
"I Grizzed in My Pants"
"Small Market Big Heart"
"Whoop That Trick"
I guess we will see. I have a lot of confidence that this series will be 2-2 come Tuesday morning.
The Clippers and Thunder had some great scorers and Superstars too. They couldn't manage to beat this Grizzlies team once we figured out the formula against both teams.
You just better hope you are right, that it was just luck that this team climbed back and took your team to overtime, and that it wasn't that Lionel has figured out the formula against the Spurs too. We will find out soon enough, but our non-Superstar having team sure seems to make life difficult on teams despite the fact that we "can't score".
As for hoping for no more FAKE fouls....flagrant or otherwise; that will most likely depend on Mr. Ginobli.
the Grizz can't SCORE, the Grizz can't DEFEND,
how exactly do you expect them to "protect" home.
the better team and the better coach will win, I'll let you figure it out.
here is wishing a great game 3 and 4.
PS. hopefully no more FAKE flagrant fouls.
The flagrant foul wasnt faked, but Tony's embellishment sure was. Ginobili didnt just give a hard swat - he grabbed Allen's forearm and pulled down to follow through. That's the textbook definition of a flagrant 1. As for Tony's response, I fully expect him to get a call/fine from the league for his antics after the foul.
As for the rest of your post, I know the Spurs aren't the Clippers, but we've been in this situation before - as little as 3 weeks ago. In the same way too. Blowout loss in game 1, close loss in game 2. Down 2-0, we won the series. How? Adjustments. We made them in the 3rd quarter last night and the rest of the game was a completely different story.
Your spurs protected home, which is what they were expected to do. So congrats. But, you'll find out how good we are at protecting our home court too. As the saying goes, the series doesn't start until someone loses at home.
Hollins and the Grizz haven't figured out anything.
The Spurs 4Q struggles yesterday were mostly due to the Spurs inability to make WIDE OPEN shots. Blame it on fatigue, but it definitely ain't because Hollins adjustments.
Memphis in this series has problems at both ends of the floor.
For a team being named as the best defensive team in the league they sure can't stop the Spurs. Late in the 3Q yesterday they were down by 18.
Offensively, well, let's not even talk about it.
So how can Memphis win this series if they can't defend nor score?
FAKING flagrant fouls? well, it didn't work yesterday either.
I believe the Grizz have figured out the way to get back into this series. More offense, which means more QP and Bayless, and less TA and Prince. So far Prince has been a disappointment this entire post season. I now think we were expecting too much from a players who's so long in the tooth.
Defense alone isn't going to win this series. SA players are too intelligent, too unselfish, Parker's too good, and Popovich too good a coach to be shut down offensively. Every time the Grizz have been bounced from the playoffs it's been because of lack of scoring, especially outside shooting. Griz will have to start scoring in the mid nineties to have a real chance to defeat the Spurs.
I'm sure the TA fans will pull out the daggers if their boy isn't in the game for big minutes, but I trust Lionel will do what he has to do to get back in the series. Mainly, bench Prince. The extras defense he provides doesn't make up for having two non-scorers on the floor at the same time.
It's really sad to see the delusions from Grizzlies fans. I mean, if you can find any positives from this than more power to you. I'm not so sure it's about Lionel Hollins figuring the match ups finally, but more about the Spurs simply went cold as the second half went along. There were a few good defensive stops by the Grizzlies, but for the most part, the Spurs looked as if they ran out of gas. Tony Parker had lost his legs in the 4th and could hardly even spit.
Grizzlies fans should also caution that the Spurs were in this situation last year only to lose the next 4 games in the Conference Finals. This might not be a good thing for the Grizzlies as I'm sure the Spurs know this and will be even more apt to not let this happen. These observations are coming from someone who dislikes both teams so good luck!
The Spurs do cut a decent amount, but in large part, they punish you with Parker on the pick and roll hitting shooters that like to lurk at the 3 point line.
That makes it a lot easier for the Grizzlies to play Bayless. Against the Clippers, you couldn't play Bayless, because he would end up on Jamal Crawford, Chauncey Billups, or some larger guard that would break him down off the dribble. When he was in, he got in trouble. The same was the case with the Thunder. Martin, Jackson, or anyone really he guarded could take him off the bounce.
Against the Spurs, his defense is less of a liability.
That's big, because clearly we need at least one shooter on the floor at all times to open up the paint for our bigs. When Tay and Tony are on the floor together, the Spurs just pack it in and play 5 on 1 or 2 when we get it to the post. When our shooters are out there, just having a threat to hit a shot gives the bigs the space they need. If we can keep that spacing the rest of the series AND continue to play solid pick and roll defense, I will be curious to see what adjustments Popovich can find. If he can't find any adjustments, we stand a great chance to come back from down 0-2 for the second time.
Media has the Tony thing all wrong. He was thrown to the ground as Manu meant to do. He didn't hack him, he grabbed hold and followed through. And TA's little manimal brain bounced against his skull. Resulting in the head grabbing agony we witnessed.
By Louis Goggans
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