Seems weird to write this, but Grizz in 7. SAS can play at a higher level than Grizz, but I dont think they can sustain it. Grit and grind has a chance to win the series.
Tough game. This will be a heck of a series. I like Randolph. It's unfair to expect him to carry the offense. If you ever want to trade him....
So the Spurs got here by beating the Lakers without Kobe and the Warriors without David Lee, and this guy wants to discount our route to the conference finals. Love it.
By the way, I do have tons of respect for the way the Spurs play between whistles. However, after the whistle, they're the biggest bunch of whiny crybabies in the league. No team even comes close to matching them.
To Grove: I can't deny that the Grizz play well against crippled playoff teams. The Spurs don't exactly have anything to whine about. They play clean, exciting basketball. And mostly win. It's almost showtime. Break a leg.
Ha. Yep. 56 wins and the Conference Finals means you can't win in the NBA without shooters and above the rim players.
Do you not remember that this team knocked yours out of the playoffs with the exact same style two years ago?
It is definitely nice to have a bunch of shooters and dunkers, but all that really matters is stopping your opponent and being efficient on offense. Also getting extra possessions, via turnovers and rebounds is key.
One thing I do know is that whining isn't a part of American basketball.
GroveReb84: The Spurs can very well play contact and physical ball, and they can also run the court and play long ball. That's American basketball. What it is that a one-dimensional teams plays, I don't know, perhaps Russian ball. But it's no recipe for success in the NBA. Frankly, basketball is a game for super players, and your team is lacking. Spurs in six.
@Wolfgang, I don't know that I agree with that as a rule.
For one thing, people in Memphis don't like European style basketball, which basically plays more like soccer (lots of flopping and complaining to refs). We prefer American basketball, which plays more like football (playing through contact and playing physical).
The only major contributor we have that's foreign born is Marc Gasol, and he played his prep ball in Memphis. He's not your typical Euro basketball player.
As far as what the Grizz have to do in this series, it's simply make defensive adjustments and move the ball better offensively.
This team has looked bad in each Game 1 so far in this year's playoffs, but once they start making adjustments, they've been able to clamp down on opponents. The Spurs are a different animal, but I think you'll see a tight series all the way through.
I do have a lot of respect for how smart the Spurs play basketball. That's why I've expected this series to be a hard fought series, but I do think whoever wins it will have been extended to the max to pull out the series.
As a Spurs fan, I will be watching to see how closely the Griz stick to their game plan. The Spurs know that they have the game in hand when teams, when frustrated, try to intimidate the Spurs--and thus abandon their game plan. The Griz are like the Spurs in many ways, and have a great future. One tip: look for more help from foreign teams--Parker, Genobili, Splitter, even Duncan (Virgin Islands) did not develop here.
@J-Val, I agree on Tony, which Chris said as well.
Especially against a team like this who has so many shooters and moves the ball so well, he needs to be on the ball.
I do see where his minutes may need to be limited in this match up moreso than usual, but when he is in the game, I think his value is in guarding Parker. I will be interested to see Lionel's adjustments. He's shown so far that he and his staff are good with adjustments, and once they make them, it's tough for the other team to readjust and do enough to win.
San Antonio is a great team because they play as a team, but they are not unbeatable, and I think they know they're going to have to scrape and claw to get 4 wins out of this series.
As Chris said before the series, Game 1 was way more important for San Antonio than Memphis due to our penchant for getting stronger defensively as the series progresses and we diagnose what it is the opponent does well offensively.
I warned people that there was no way the Grizzlies should be favored over the Spurs, despite the national media jumping on the bandwagon. Here are the reasons I listed:
1. The Spurs have home court. I expect the Spurs to win in 7.
2. The Spurs have great outside shooters, especially from the 3-point range. The Grizz do not. Every time they've been bounced from the playoffs it's been because of their
lack of outside shooting.
3. The Spurs have the most motivation. Every since the Grizz bounced them from the playoffs as an eighth seed, SA has been on a mission of payback.
4. Much as I hate to admit it, POP is the best coach in the league. Lionel isn't chopped liver but he'll have to at least coach Popovich to a draw for the Grizz to advance.
5. SA has the experience in these kind of series and the Grizz do not. Winning championships is a progression. Going from never having advanced past the second round to champions may be too much of a stretch.
In my opinion, the key to this series is Tony Parker. Someone will have to be able to stay in front of him and at least slow him down. If he continues to get into the paint at will, we're through. I say Put Tony on him, plead with him not to make foolish fouls, live with Parker's forays into the lane, and not leave their three-point shooters.
Also, Grizz fans, don't worry, be happy. The team has accomplished a lot. Root for them but don't get all bent out of shape if they lose. I framed the stories of the Grizz clinching against the Clips and OKC. I'm good for this year as long as the Grizz play hard and put up a fight.
I heard on radio this morning that Hollins had said it wasn't so bad after reviewing the tape.
I assume by that he meant that the problems he saw were easily fixable. That was very encouraging to hear.
The pattern in the first two series has been odd line ups and losses in Game 1. Our coaching staff has almost used Game 1 as a barometer to measure the opponent and figure out during live action what works and what doesn't.
I think they believe they have answers this time too. We will find out tonight if they have answers. Even if tonight is a close loss (like the Clipper series), I will be encouraged.
I supposed maybe the Grizzlies would be less boring if they spent the entire game overreacting to every small bit of contact and then complaining to the refs about every call that didn't go their way.
I have a lot of respect for what the Spurs do as a team when it comes to real basketball, but the whining is tiring and takes away from what they do right.
The Grizzlies aren't all that different than the Spurs, just with a bit less whining. This team knows what it is, just like the Spurs, and it doesn't try to be something it isn't.
We have 3 starters that made first or second team All-Defense this year. We have two bigs that play well together and dominate the post by sheer force. We only have a few players that hit threes. Those shortcomings force us to a certain style of play, but I enjoy it, because it forces team basketball, and it forces us to play for the extra possessions (turnovers/rebounds) to win games. In a league full of players that play above the rim or live by hitting shots from 30 feet, it's unique to see a team that wins with neither.
I suppose they could continue tripping the Spurs stars until they seriously injure one of them. Keep on grinding, boring basketball.
True, and what was most discouraging was the look of sheer hopelessness on Randolph's face.
Having said that, he had a poor gm 1 against the Clippers, not even that great in gm 2, and we all know how that turned out.
Zbo was terrible, but I think that he's done more than enough in the very recent past to earn a long leash before anyone talks about yanking him... they just need to make a few adjustments and get him the ball in better position.
PS Randolph's plus/minus was -28. This can be a bogus stat sometimes, as when Keeyon Dooling got a +16 in one of the last series' games. But in this case -28 says it all about Zach's stinker.
Good observation that Darrell Arthur was completely out to lunch; he played like a college freshman, running around like a chicken with his head cut off. But the most telling thing that i saw on my television screen were the wtf? looks that all the other four starters gave ZeBO everytime he screwed up, after it became obvious his bad start was becoming more than just a bad start...
Randolph absolutely sleep-walked through this game, and was damned lucky to even score. His was the single worst playoff performance by a Grizzlies "star" since the Renaissance began in 2009-10. If he stinks up the joint this bad at the start of Game #2, Hollins has no choice but to bench him quickly, so as to come up with viable Game #3-4 options. In sum: ZeBo was historically awful!
Thanks for the summary. In looking for other positives, I am hoping that Hollins will recognize that Ed Davis can do good things on the floor, and hopefully that will mean more minutes down the road in this series.
In stark contrast, I think that this is the worst game I have seen from Darrell Arthur. It's not just his terrible fouls at inopportune times, nor his turnovers; he was the one who left Bonner open for 4 wide open 3's. To my recollection, he wasn't behind any screens or picks, it was just him not paying attention to one of the deadliest 3 pt shooters in the league. To me, that is unforgivable.
At least it can't get much worse...
Just excellent as usual.
By Hannah Sayle, Chris Herrington, Chris Shaw, Louis Goggans, Greg Akers, Bruce VanWyngarden, Jackson Baker and John Branston
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