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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! Here are your links for May 25th:

How the Spurs have addressed the problem of Zach Randolph48 Minutes of Hell

Randolph has been mostly miserable through two games. He’s chipping in 8.5 points a night while shooting 26.7 percent — 7-for-26 from the floor — in the Western Conference Finals, a far cry from the 21.5 points per game on 50 percent shooting we saw in 2011. There are several factors involved in why that is, but it starts with the personnel the Spurs are currently employing. Duncan was a shell of himself two years ago and had trouble staying in front of Z-Bo when he faced up, the ancient Antonio McDyess and the undersized DeJuan Blair had similar sets of problems, and Tiago Splitter was buried at the end of Gregg Popovich’s bench, only to be dusted off once the situation reached DEFCON 1 going in to Game 6.

This time around, San Antonio has a healthier, lighter Duncan, a much more capable Splitter, Boris Diaw and a stable of young, long-armed perimeter players very adept at crashing down and helping defensively on big men. For as skilled as Randolph is offensively, the matchups he’s being faced with are difficult for him to handle. The 6-foot-9 Z-Bo now has the task of attacking two borderline 7-footers all night and, given his limited athleticism, doesn’t have enough of a quickness advantage to beat any of the Spurs’ bigs consistently off the dribble.

Editorial: Memphis restaurant denying Parker service still comes up empty in win columnProject Spurs

On Friday night, with the Spurs and several of our media compatriots in Memphis for the next two games, I saw Facebook updates with photos of Beale Street and other local attractions, and then all of a sudden I saw something unexpected.

Tony Parker had been denied service at a French-Creole restaurant in Memphis. Restaurant Iris chef Kelly English apparently denied service according to several messages on Twitter that English confirmed to be true.

The restaurant’s Twitter account soon after sent out a message with the Grizzlies playoff slogan and hashtag, “We don’t bluff.”

After both positive and negative responses to the confirmed rumor, English chimed in again.

“We have a thirteen table restaurant. There have been times I couldn’t get my wife or parents in. I can’t create a table, Tony Parker or not.”

Game Preview: Spurs look to shut down the Grizzlies Grindhouse in Game 3Pounding the Rock

I feel like not only did the San Antonio Spurs get their much needed rest during that three-day break, but us fans, too. We got some time off from worrying if the Spurs will experience the inevitable fold-up that many keep anticipating after the team’s playoff performances in the past seasons. On another note, hopefully the fans got to step back and think about the reality that arguing with every “hater” that the Spurs are “hated” by national media is never a winning proposition. Never has, never will be. Now, can we just all focus on basketball? Kthx.

(BUUUUUT IT’S SO MUCH FUN TO ARGUE AND PLAY THE IGNORED CARDDDDDD!)

Could the Spurs 2-0 series lead be insurmountable?Pounding the Rock

 Conventional wisdom has it that a desperate Grizzlies team with a strong home court advantage will certainly capture Game 3, and they very well might. However, there is no better scenario than the one the Spurs have right in front of them: to cast out the demons of the past two postseasons.

Unlike last year, they’ll be going into Game 3 fresh, with three days of rest behind them, the perfect time allotment for recharging their batteries without collecting rust. They’ll be playing with appropriate fear, since they almost lost Game 2, and were saved in overtime by the perfect guy, Duncan, since he was the one most struggling from the field up to that point. Now, maybe he’ll have some confidence going into the next game. They’ll also be playing a team that’s much worse than them, which helps.

To me, Game 3 sets up a 85/80 situation for Game 4. If the Spurs win it, they have an 85 percent chance of sweeping the Grizz. If Memphis wins it, there’s an 80 percent chance that the series returns to San Antonio deadlocked at two apiece.

Tayshaun Prince may force Grizzlies lineup changeUSA Today

Prince, now 33 and an NBA champion with the 2004 Detroit Pistons, has done this long enough to know his production is needed — and quickly. But he’s also been through enough ups and downs before, even within these playoffs, to know that he has one more push in him.

“I’ve never been in a position where I’m worried or concerned about how I’m shooting,” Prince said. “I just have to continue to stay confident and when the shots are available, take them.”

Topics: 48 Minutes Of Hell, Memphis Grizzlies, Pounding The Rock, Project Spurs, San Antonio Spurs, USA Today

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