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Eddy from Austin 05-17-13 06:31 PM

Official WC Finals Game #1 Grizzlies at Spurs Game Thread (Sun 2:30)

(2) SAN ANTONIO SPURS (58-24, 8-2) VS. (5) MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (56-26, 8-3)
SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2013
2:30 P.M. CT

  • These teams went 2-2 against each other during the 2012-13 regular season, with each team winning both of its home games.
  • This will be third postseason meeting between these two teams all-time. The Spurs swept the Grizzlies, 4-0, in the first round in 2004, while the Grizzlies won in six games in the first round in 2011.
  • Tony Parker is one of 10 players all-time and one of three active players (Kobe Bryant and LeBron James) with at least 3000 points and 800 assists in a postseason career.
  • The Spurs are averaging 27.2 points on 51.7 percent shooting from the floor in the first quarter this postseason. The 51.7 percent shooting in the first quarter is the best in this year's playoffs by any team.
  • Zach Randolph has recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in 13 postseason games in his career and 11 times since the beginning of the 2011 playoffs. The 11 20-point/10-rebound games in the playoffs since 2011 are tied for the third most over that time frame
  • With Zach Randolph (19.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg) and Marc Gasol (18.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg), this year's Grizzles are only the third Western Conference team since the 1996 playoffs to feature two players averaging at least 18 points and seven rebounds in a single postseason (minimum 10 games). The 2001 Lakers had Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, while the 2010 Jazz had Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap.

Grizzlies-Spurs Preview

AP Sports Writer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) On the best playoff run in their short history, the Memphis Grizzlies refuse to be satisfied with just reaching their first Western Conference final.

The San Antonio Spurs? Well, they know time is running out for a team that has done so very much in the NBA playoffs yet last celebrated a championship in 2007.

Blowing a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals a year ago to Oklahoma City has driven the Spurs since training camp, and now they are back with Game 1 on Sunday against Memphis determined not to waste another chance.

"We understand as a team that those opportunities are very rare, and we have another great one right now," Spurs guard Tony Parker said Saturday. "We have home-court advantage against a very good team, so we have to take full advantage of it."

The Grizzlies are the former expansion franchise that started off in Vancouver before moving to Memphis, and they started by setting the NBA record for postseason futility while losing their first 12 playoff games.

Coach Lionel Hollins, who won an NBA title in 1977 as a player with Portland, has his Grizzlies believing they can win one, too. The No. 5 seed in the West ousted first the Clippers, then the Thunder by winning eight of its last nine games, including three straight on the road.

"We're just worried about going forward," Grizzlies guard Mike Conley said. "We're happy to be here, but we're still focused on bigger things, and we got another tough opponent."
That would be the Spurs with Tim Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili who swept the Grizzlies out of their first postseason in 2004. When Memphis finally won a postseason series, they beat the Spurs in six games in 2011, kicking off that series by winning the first game in San Antonio. Ginobili said the Spurs were not at their best that series and struggled to stop the Grizzlies' big men in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.

"We started with the wrong foot, we lost the first one and they got stronger and confident, and that's how they beat us," Ginobili said.

This conference final pits Southwest Division rivals, with the Spurs as the dominating big brother with their four NBA championships and the fifth-best all-time winning percentage in the league since this franchise moved to the NBA in 1976. No coach and player have more postseason games than San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich and Duncan with 200 over 16 seasons.
The Spurs clinched the No. 2 seed in the West winning just two more games than the Grizzlies.

This should be a defensive showdown between teams built around big men with Memphis countering Duncan with 7-foot-1 Gasol and Randolph down low. Memphis held teams to an NBA-low 89.3 points during the regular season, and the Spurs tied for third in defensive efficiency. The Grizzlies also were second defending the 3, which could slow down Parker and Ginobili.

"Finding ways to score is going to be very difficult," Popovich said. "Just playing against their defense is enough of a concern right off the bat."

Hollins said beauty will be in the eye of the beholder for this series.
"Some people think it's ugly, some people think it's beautiful," Hollins said. "I don't know. Don't really care."

Home court mattered during the regular season as these teams split with each winning on their own floor.

Remember when Popovich sent Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Danny Green home to avoid playing the Heat in Miami on Nov. 29th? Well, that rest at the end of a six-game road trip cost the Spurs an unprecedented $250,000 fine. But the move paid off when the Spurs hosted the Grizzlies on Dec. 1 when Memphis was off to an NBA-best 12-2 start with a 99-95 win by San Antonio.

Three of the teams' matchups came before Memphis traded away Rudy Gay on Jan. 30. Memphis won the last game April 1 when Conley drove the lane for a layup and a 92-90 win on a night where Kawhi Leonard stayed in San Antonio with a sore left knee, Duncan sat out and Ginobili was out with a strained hamstring.

"It's going to be a tough series," Randolph said. "Every time we've played them it's a tough series. They got Ginobili, Parker, and they got a lot of other guys who do great things for the team."

San Antonio went 35-6 at home in the regular season, then swept the Lakers to open the playoffs. The Warriors tested that home-court advantage forcing the Spurs to go to overtime to pull out the first game of that series and did win Game 2. The Spurs won Game 5 at home before closing out the series Thursday night. That forces the Spurs into a quicker turnaround, even though they do get to start at home.

"I don't think you need any more challenge than playing in the conference finals and having the opportunity to go to the NBA Finals," Ginobili said. "Not that we needed that. It is big enough."

Memphis has been on a bit of a revenge tour this postseason. The Grizzlies ousted the Clippers in six after losing to Los Angeles in seven last year, then they made up for their 2011 Western semifinal loss to Oklahoma City by knocking off the defending Western champs in five games.

A key in this series will be Parker and Conley. Parker is averaging 22.4 points a game this postseason, while Conley is averaging a career-best 17.6 points while handing out 7.6 assists a game.

"He's the real key to their basketball team," Popovich said. "Everybody just thinks about Zach and Marc, who are sufficiently wonderful as players. But Conley is very, very important to that group."

They got an extra day of rest after Wednesday night's 88-84 win over the Thunder. Now they have geared up again focusing on defense, rebounding and trying to outscore an opponent in the paint, which already has worked so well this postseason.

"It's the same recipe," Gasol said. "It's just a little tougher."
AP Sports Writer Jeff Latzke in San Antonio contributed to this report.

Eddy from Austin 05-18-13 10:54 AM


Spurd_On 05-18-13 02:08 PM

Judging by the media picks, the press senses a war on the horizon and I tend to agree. The Griz fans and most players with the exception of tashaun prince have never experienced this level before and they seem pumped to be here. I am banking on the Spurs to be pumped as well with the bitter memory of last season's conference playoffs and the conviction to not repeat it.

Eddy from Austin 05-18-13 05:31 PM

Spurs 91
Grizzlies 85

thesuspence281 05-18-13 10:47 PM

They better show up from the beginning. I don't wanna see them getting down early again and having to use up a ton of their energy to get back into the game. GSG!

MichaelWi101 05-18-13 11:10 PM

Can't imagine the Spurs coming out lazy and disinterested. This is one series they should be focused on.

Spurs 94
bear cubs 82

thesuspence281 05-18-13 11:18 PM

I have no doubt that Tim, Tony and Manu will come out focused. The guys I'm more worried about are Splitter and Green. We can't afford for them to come out and not apply themselves entirely.

Mombear 05-18-13 11:49 PM

Spurs 108
Grizwalds 99

:banana FireySpurs :banana FireySpurs :banana

spurscrazed 05-19-13 11:22 AM

Spurs even if they appear rusty at the beginning of the game, they will recover fast imho and BRING it!!!!!

Spurs at HOME Sweet Home and they will NOT LOSE home court advantage.:smirk

I am looking for Spurs to close out with style and win this game with STRONG Finish!

Spurs 98
Grizzs 93

Go Spurs Go!!!!:rock
We NEED to start this series with GREAT BANG!!! A SPURS Spanking WIN AT HOME!!!!

DDAMAGE 05-19-13 12:54 PM

Spurs 92

Grizz 86

esparzar1 05-19-13 01:10 PM

I feel a good ass kicking coming!!!

Spurs 95

Cubs 79

thesuspence281 05-19-13 02:36 PM

I'm feeling better and better about this game the closer we get. Hopefully my good feelings are warranted.

tabspur 05-19-13 06:07 PM

Great, and I mean great game plan by Pop. Don't let Z Bo and Gasol beat us. Make Randolph go right... EVERY time. He may score that way, but not kill us.. Hedge Conley. There is no way, and I mean no way, their perimeter guys and back ups out execute and beat us. I expect a better Grizz game Tues. a close win, then us taking game 3 or 4. This is a better match up for us. Same system, but we have more talent, depth, and coaching.

esparzar1 05-19-13 06:43 PM


Originally Posted by esparzar1 (Post 1297155)
I feel a good ass kicking coming!!!

Spurs 95

Cubs 79

Didn't get the right score but I knew it would be an ass kicking lol

tabspur 05-19-13 07:34 PM

We were so focused, even Bonner looked good.

Robofuzz 05-19-13 07:51 PM

THAT was an amazing display of Spurs basketball.

Spurd_On 05-19-13 10:07 PM


Originally Posted by tabspur (Post 1297190)
We were so focused, even Bonner looked good.

Yes. Very focused. It doesn't hurt that a ridiculous number of 3's were going down either. Bonner will likely be OK against any team where the primary concern is not perimeter defense. i.e. GS and Miami he is not likely as useful.

thesuspence281 05-19-13 11:14 PM

When we play like that I would imagine we are unbeatable.

tabspur 05-20-13 12:29 PM

My guess is we will have to grind out game 2. I can't see us shooting as good as we just did. Hopefully we still knock down shots. But I see us needing a bigger impact from our bigs offensively. I feel pretty good about our perimeter match ups and depth. Love our defensive game plan, but have to think Randolph will have a much better game. Keep one making guys like Allen, Poindexter, Dooling beat us. I know Poindexter had a good game, but much like Barnes in the Warriors series, he won't be that guy who puts the Grizz on his back for a win. Like Gasol, Randolph and Conley can.

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