May 25, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Tim Duncan (21) is surrounded by players celebrating an overtime win against the Memphis Grizzlies in game three of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at FedEx Forum. San Antonio defeated Memphis 104-93. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
We Don’t Bluff.
That’s been the calling card the Memphis Grizzlies have used throughout the playoffs. Turning those three simple words into a marketing storm with towels and t-shirts.
Ask Google to define the word bluff. One of the definitions you get back is, “An attempt to deceive someone into believing that one can or will do something.”
The Grizzlies tore through the Western Conference playoffs with their systematic execution. “Grit-n-grinding” their way through the Clippers in six games, and destroying the Thunder in five. Who could blame anyone for picking Memphis? But they weren’t trying to deceive us into believing they were a championship team. They were just doing their job.
Now down 3-0 to the San Antonio Spurs, everyone wants to know what went wrong with the Grizzlies. And the answer is absolutely nothing.
The Spurs are just exposing the Grizzlies for who they are. It’s not that Memphis misses Rudy Gay or O.J. Mayo. It’s not that Memphis doesn’t have enough offensive firepower to compete. It’s that the Spurs play the Grizzlies style of basketball better than they do.
It’s been said of the Spurs all year that they don’t have the size to go up against bigger teams. Then they swept the Lakers using Aron Baynes, Boris Diaw and Matt Bonner to go against Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol. Then it was, the Warriors shoot too well and are too athletic for San Antonio. Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard had a nice laugh at that. Now the narrative was Memphis is too strong. They execute too well. San Antonio is tired and can’t keep up with the Grizzlies physicality.
That’s a bunch of bull****.
San Antonio doesn’t need some slogan to rally behind. And they don’t need any flash or gimmicks to beat you. They just play smarter than you. Gregg Popovich is exposing who the Grizzlies really are, something Scott Brooks and Vinny Del Negro weren’t able to do. The Spurs have perfected the ability to adjust and beat you at your own game.
But it’s okay. Keep doubting the Spurs ability. They’re too old, they’re not big enough, their grey jerseys look like trash bags. Whatever criticism you can come up with to continue to discredit them.
But the Spurs don’t care. They’ll be over here, finishing their job of exposing the undeceiving Grizzlies.
Because the San Antonio Spurs are better than you.