Saturday, April 30, 2011

NBA Playoffs: Night Fourteen

Western Conference
Memphis Grizzles (8) @ San Antonio Spurs (1)
4/17: Game One--Grizzlies 101, SPURS 98 (1-0, Memphis)
4/20: Game Two--SPURS 93, Grizzlies 87 (Tie, 1-1)
4/23: Game Three--GRIZZLIES 91, Spurs 88 (2-1, Memphis)
4/25: Game Four--GRIZZLIES 104, Spurs 86 (3-1, Memphis)
4/27: Game Five--SPURS 110, Grizzlies 103 (3-2, Memphis)
4/29: Game Six--GRIZZLIES 99, Spurs 91 (4-2, Memphis wins)
Tim Duncan looked plain tired as his Spurs were
upset in the first round after a 61-win regular season
Sorry for sounding like a broken record here, but it was the Grizzlies' front court of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph that carried Memphis to their big playoff win.  This win was special, though, because it clinched the franchise's first ever postseason series victory.  It was also special in that the Grizzlies became the fourth number eight seed to knock off their top-seeded opponent in the first round (and the first since the 2007 Golden State Warriors).  Once again for Memphis, they were able to shut down future HOF-er Tim Duncan (see right) en route to a win, having now won all three games in Memphis this postseason.  Duncan was a non-factor for most of the game for the Spurs, especially in the fourth quarter.  Duncan's only basket in the fourth was a tip shot with five seconds remaining, but the Spurs were already losing by eight points.  He was largely unguarded for that play, as the Grizzlies had already sealed the game.  Aside from that tip shot (which counts as a field goal and an offensive rebound), Duncan did not have a single rebound or assist despite playing the final nine minutes of the final period.  For the game, he wasn't much better: Duncan ended with 12 points on 5-13 shooting (38.5%) while turning the ball over five times.  I hesitate to generalize about the state of Duncan's career from this sample of six games, but "The Big Fundamental" did seem slow and old compared to Randolph and Gasol, and that's why the Grizzlies are moving on.

No comments:

Post a Comment