May 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker (9) celebrates with fans in the stands after game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum. The Spurs won 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
A week after the San Antonio Spurs clinched their spot in the NBA Finals, the Miami Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers to join them in the soon to be classic Finals match-up. But before we start previewing what San Antonio versus Miami would look like, let’s take a look back at how the Spurs got to this point. It’s time for another retro diary! This time, Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals.
We’re going to utilize the slideshow feature again, so use the left and right arrows to navigate between quarters.
1st quarter, 12:00 remaining: Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen talking pregame, and I’m not listening to a word they’re saying. I’m too focused on the guy between them, with the screen-printed Marc Gasol jersey on, tucked into his khaki pants: This is not okay.
10:10 remaining – Tayshaun Prince with his second basket of the game. I honestly don’t remember Tayshaun Prince scoring two total baskets in the 2005 NBA Finals, so this is totally catching me off guard.
8:34 remaining – Let me just state for the record, I love Mike Breen. I think he’s one of the few guys ESPN has that’s great at his job. But with that being said, here he states, “We’re only 3 and a half minutes in, but in those 3 and a half minutes it seems as Memphis has come out with a little fight in them.”
Umm, we’re coming off two straight overtime games, Mike. Memphis has been fighting like hell all series. Just because they’re down 3-0 to the Spurs, doesn’t mean they haven’t been fighting.
8:16 remaining – Danny Green just passed on an open three pointer, dribbled behind his back, passing Mike Conley, and launched a floater from 13-feet over Zach Randolph. I’d like to know when the hell he developed that move. And so does the Grizzlies’ defense.
7:34 remaining – Oh, okay. Kawhi Leonard has a floater in his repertoire now too? This is fun.
6:23 remaining – 8-0 run by the Spurs. The Spurs must have a little fight in them, aye Mike Breen?
4:13 remaining – The greatest three-point play ever. Duncan sets a screen for Parker, Conley gets stuck in the screen, pulls Duncan down and gets called for the foul, while Parker nails the jumpshot. Duncan hits the free throw to complete the And-1. I begin to dance in the privacy of my own room.
2:36 remaining –
1:25 remaining – ESPN keeps showing Patty Mills on the bench celebrating. This is what happens when playoff series are no longer competitive. They show the 12th guy on the bench, waving a towel.
End of the first quarter: San Antonio 24, Memphis 14.
May 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first half of game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
8:25 remaining – Matt Bonner just triple pumped on a wide open three pointer and missed it. I hit rewind on my DVR four times, because I thought it was just the camera skipping. Nope. He really hesitated three times before shooting. I blame his New Balance’s.
8:00 remaining – Matt Bonner doesn’t hesitate this time. Still misses. And now we’re 0/4 on three pointers, which is just fantastic.
6:37 remaining – One of the rarest things you’ll ever see in the NBA. Tony Parker steals the ball and drives all the way to the basket, passing it off to Duncan at the last second for a dunk. Only Tony Allen is called for a foul as soon as Parker passes the ball, to which Parker AND Allen argue that there was no foul. NBA officiating, you guys.
5:34 remaining –
Tayshaun Prince gets embarrassed on defense, part 2.
0:06.3 remaining – Marc Gasol just blew a layup on a foul call and slammed the ball against the ground twice. I’m only pointing this out, because in the new emotionless NBA, that’s a technical foul. Surprisingly, the refs swallowed their whistle and let Marc show some frustration.
0:05.2 remaining – Matt Bonner inbounding the ball in front of the Spurs bench, gets called for a 5-second violation. Popovich is FURIOUS. So I rewind and grab my stopwatch. And by stopwatch, I mean the stopwatch app on my phone. Ironically, from the moment Bonner touches the ball to when Monty McCutchen blows his whistle, is 5.2 seconds. Which is even more infuriating, because Bonner had Kawhi Leonard WIDE OPEN across the court.
0:02.7 remaining – Jerryd Bayless nails a three pointer. Expletive.
Halftime: San Antonio 44, Memphis 38.
May 27, 2013; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies power forward Darrell Arthur (00) high fives small forward Quincy Pondexter (20) in the second half of game four of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Ed note: We’re skipping to the fourth quarter, because for some reason, the third quarter on my DVR is completely unwatchable. Just know Tony Parker went completely apesh*t in the third, scoring 14 of San Antonio’s 28 points in the quarter. San Antonio leads Memphis, 72-66.
4th quarter, 11:27 remaining – Darrell Arthur nails a wide open jumper after 20398309404986 Grizzlies’ offensive rebounds, to cut the Spurs lead to four. Even though you know the outcome already when you write these retro diaries, I still have small panic attacks watching this. As if something was going to change this time around. You may be laughing, but one day it’s going to happen. I’m not crazy.
10:56 remaining – Jerryd Bayless attempts a pass that Kawhi Leonard’s 7’4″ wingspan just completely swallows up. It’s like watching Jay Cutler throw passes against the Packers secondary. Anyway, back to the play. Leonard has the fastbreak dunk, but slows down to attempt to draw a foul. He blows the layup, but gets his own rebound and tips it back end. My heart stopped for a split second when he blew the layup.
9:15 remaining – Tony Parker hits a cold-blooded three pointer to extend the lead back to six. TP is shooting 38% from three this postseason, and Parker’s only a 31% career three point shooter. He’s come a long way from being benched for Speedy Claxton in the 2003 NBA Finals.
7:40 remaining – More Tony Parker. Scott Brooks defended Parker perfectly in last years Western Conference Finals by putting Thabo Sefolosha on him. The key to stopping TP was by putting a bigger guard on him. The Warriors tried Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes; failed. The Grizzlies tried Mike Conley and Tony Allen; failed. Should be interesting to see how much LeBron defends Parker in the Finals.
6:04 remaining – After Parker gets hit in the eye by Gasol, Pop goes to my favorite lineup: Ginobili, Green, Leonard, Diaw, Duncan. I love Cory Joseph and all, but Manu playing point is the greatest thing ever. And it keeps Gary Neal the hell off the floor.
4:05 remaining – Parker jumpshot. 33 points in the game. And the ESPN camera catches Parker walking back up the court as he simply says, “F***.”
3:54 remaining – Lionel Hollins shoves Jerryd Bayless as he goes to sit on the bench. My coach in 7th grade shoved me and benched me too. But instead of arguing back, I’m pretty sure I went home and cried that night.
0:21 remaining – As if he hasn’t scored enough, Parker seals the game with two free throws