May 25, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) drives against Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) and center Marc Gasol (33) as Spurs center Tiago Splitter (22) sets a block 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 are three hours away from game four of the Western Conference Finals and the San Antonio Spurs looking to make a trip back to the NBA Finals since 2007. As we have been doing through-out these playoffs, we look back at what the Spurs did in their previous games, we are looking for what they can improve on and what they should keep doing more of. With that said, here are our keys to victory for game four tonight.
Limit Turnovers. Game three, San Antonio started off, well, bad. They turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter. This led to the Mempis Grizzlies jump on top of the San Antonio Spurs on their way to an 19-5 lead at one point and limiting the Spurs to just 13 in the quarter. With this being a possible elimination game for the Grizzlies, and another sweep for the Spurs, San Antonio will have to come out poised, as they have shown in this series. Coming back from 18 points down and winning in overtime, cutting down on
May 25, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph (50) drives to the basket against San Antonio Spurs power forward Matt Bonner (15) in game three of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at FedEx Forum. San Antonio Spurs defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 104-93, and lead the series 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
turnovers, the Spurs have proven they will be the team to beat in the NBA Finals if they were to make. For the ball handlers of San Antonio, Tony Parker, Cory Joseph, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard….who am I kidding, the whole team, need not to throw arrant passes and move the ball around the perimeter away from defenders not try to put the ball through them.
Everyone Contribute. Looking at the bench on this one. Manu Ginobili had his best game of the series in game three. He needs to come out and play with the same energy as he did. Few eyebrows were raised when Matt Bonner was in the game in crunch time. At times I wonder why, but am quickly turned back as to see how great of defense Bonner is actually playing on Randolph. If you see Randolph, you can look at the frustration mounting on his face. Scoring wise, the bench did great. Led by Ginobili’s 19 points, Bonner contributed with 8, Gary Neal 2, and Boris Diaw 7. Diaw has become a huge factor for San Antonio giving them solid minutes and producing.
Control Emotions. Their adrenaline will be up. The Spurs have to be sure they are not trying to do to much to quick. We can sit here and talk about it, easier said than done right? If you have played any kind of sport you know that once your adrenaline is sky high, you tend to do things out of the norm. Surely Popovich will be settling the team down so all is well.
Start Strong, Finish Strong. This is it. We are one game away from reaching the Finals for the first time since 2007. Are you pumped? I am. I am looking and hoping San Antonio comes out of the gates putting pressure on their shooters, banging, playing physical with the Grizzlies bigs. This is the time where we can lay it all out there. Let’s put on a clinic. Waiting for us is not only a trip to the Finals but also a much needed nine days off. Let’s get it done San Antonio.