The Morning Tip-Off

The Morning Tip-Off is where we scour the internet, to bring you all the San Antonio Spurs news from different outlets, all on one page. It’s game day folks! Here are your links for May 21st:

Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies, Game 2Pounding the Rock

But, unfortunately, this won’t be the norm for this series. The Spurs will regress back to the mean, and the Grizzlies will grit and grind their way back to normal. Meaning, of course, that people like Matt Bonner probably (emphasize “probably”) won’t be on fire from deep again, and there will be no more blowouts of this nature again in this series.

Both Lionel Hollins and Mike Conley suggested that their defense was over-rotating throughout the game. Their poor defensive effort led to Parker penetrating the lane seemingly at will, and once he was there it was only a matter of time before he found an open shooter for a three-point attempt. For a smart defensive team like the Grizzlies, it’s fairly certain that they will work on not making that same mistake again.

 How Duncan would look like in a Celtics uniformProject Spurs

Hard to imagine it has been 16 years since the San Antonio Spurs won the 1997 NBA Draft Lottery and drafted Tim Duncan out of Wake Forest. Duncan not only changed the future of the Spurs, it also changed the path for the Boston Celtics who had the best odds to get the No. 1 pick in 1997. The Spurs drafted Duncan and the Celtics drafted Chancey Billups and Ron Mercer.

For the Spurs, Duncan has led the franchise to four NBA titles while Boston went on to win one in this decade of the NBA with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen.

But what if fortunes were flipped? What if Boston won the 1997 NBA Draft and selected Duncan?  OrlandoMagic.com showed exactly how TD would look in a Boston uniform had he signed with the guys in green. Needless to say, Duncan in a Boston uniform doesn’t look that bad but a black and silver jersey is more his speed.

5 things to watch: Spurs vs. Grizzlies Game 2Project Spurs

Despite losing Game 1 versus the Spurs, San Antonio should not take their early series-lead. Against the Clippers and Thunder, Memphis fell 0-1 to start both series yet rallied to win both series.

And as the Spurs look to win Game 2, here are five things to watch for during tonight’s game:

• The Spurs are 5-1 against the Grizzlies in postseason games played in San Antonio.

• Memphis is the only NBA team with three players ranked in the top 20 in scoring during the playoffs (Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley).

• Memphis is only allowing 93.4 points during the postseason.

• The Spurs are 4-0 in the postseason at home when leading after the first quarter.

• The Spurs are 4-0 in the postseason at home when scoring 100 points or more.

2013 NBA playoffs: Memphis Grizzlies-San Antonio Spurs Game 2ESPN

3. Fact or Fiction: Tony Parker is the best player in this series.

Adande: Fact. His best can have the biggest impact. When he’s on, the Spurs look elite. Marc Gasol has the most capability of affecting the game on both ends; he just doesn’t do domination.

Crawford: Fiction. I love Parker’s game, and even with all he has accomplished, I feel he’s underrated. But Mike Conley is really making a name for himself in these playoffs, and I think they will cancel each other out for the most part. At the end of the day, I think this series will come down to the bigs on both sides.

Spurs/Grizzlies preview: Game 2 will be closer, but will that be enough for Memphis? - Pro Basketball Talk

On offense, the Grizzlies need more Zach Randolph, but to make that work he may need to start the game as a decoy — other guys will have to hit shots.

The Spurs fronted and denied passing lanes to Randolph, then brought help off of the corners to double him — Memphis never swung the ball quickly to the open men to make them pay. Memphis hesitated and the Spurs defense reset.

They need better ball movement this time and some guys are going to have to knock down outside shots —Tayshaun Prince, we’re looking at you — to space out the floor. Do that, slow the help and Randolph will have room to operate and do damage.

What that all boils down to is you can expect a tougher, grittier, grindier (sure, that’s a word) Memphis team on Tuesday night.

But you can also expect the Spurs to execute like the well-oiled machine they are. They will still share the ball and guys will get looks. And that may still be too much for Memphis (expect Tim Duncan to have more than 6 points this time).

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Tags: ESPN Memphis Grizzlies Pounding The Rock Pro Basketball Talk Project Spurs San Antonio Spurs

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