May 19, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) grabs a rebound against the Memphis Grizzlies in game one of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT
Gregg Popovich said before the game that the Memphis Grizzlies were, “One of the best defensive teams in the league. Finding ways to score is going to be difficult.”
52.6% shooting and 105 points later…
San Antonio cruised to victory on Sunday afternoon, defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 105-83, and now lead the series 1-0.
Leading the way for the Spurs was Tony Parker, with 20 points and 9 assists in just 32 minutes of action. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green also added 18 and 16 points, respectively. For the Grizzlies, Zach Randolph was rendered completely useless, as he managed just 2 points and 7 rebounds. Also for Memphis, Marc Gasol had 15 points and 7 rebounds. Quincy Pondexter led the Grizzlies in scoring with 17 points off the bench.
So let’s start off with all the good that the Spurs did:
We mentioned some of the keys to victory were limiting the Grizzlies offensive rebounds. Memphis managed just 10 offensive boards and turned that into 11 second chance points. Another key to victory was sharing the ball to spread the Grizzlies defense out. San Antonio had 28 assists on 40 field goals. Out of those 40 field goals, 14 of them (FOURTEEN!) were three pointers, helping the Spurs shoot a blistering 48% from beyond the arch.
Now for the bad…well, it’s hard to point out any kind of bad when you win by 22, but there’s definitely some areas that can be improved.
The Spurs 11 turnovers in today’s game is right on par with how many turnovers the Spurs have averaged in the playoffs (good for second best in the NBA Playoffs; Memphis is first with 10 turnovers a game), but the Grizzlies easily turned those turnovers into 14 points. Also, it would be wise if the Spurs didn’t rely so much on the three point shot. Shooting 48% from three isn’t exactly sustainable. San Antonio did a great job of driving to the basket and getting space on mid-range jumpshots early, which started to leave the three’s open. The Spurs had 30 points in the paint on 58% shooting. That needs to increase and continue.
Even after such an impressive win, it’s critical that we temper our expectations. The Thunder won Game 1 of their series against Memphis, only to blow the series after four straight losses. And we all remember being up on the Thunder 2-0 last year.
Don’t count on all these games to be a blowout, but either way, an impressive win for the Spurs.
Three to advance, seven to the ultimate goal. Go Spurs Go.
- Every Spurs player saw at least 5 minutes of action, and every player (except Tracy McGrady) scored in tonight’s game. I demand T-Mac be cut immediately. Not really.
- Patty Mills scored more points (3) in his 5 minutes and 14 seconds of action, than Zach Randolph scored (2) in his 28 minutes and 5 seconds. Patrick Millions, y’all.
- Via Jeff McDonald’s Twitter, the six points Tim Duncan scored tonight was the third-lowest point total, in a playoff win, of his career.
- DeJuan Blair outscored Zach Randolph tonight as well. Probably because he’s wearing new shoes, which you can see here. And his 4 points came on these two circus shots:
Tweet of the NightOne good thing about Tracy McGrady playing tonight, the Spurs got to show off their music selection. Via ESPN’s JA Adande:
They played “Return of the Mac” When Tracy McGrady checked in. Rare props for Spurs’ DJ.
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) May 19, 2013