The San Antonio Spurs finished the NBA regular season with the best record in the Western Conference and the second best record in the league, but when it comes to the playoffs all records are erased.
This is exactly how the eight seed Memphis Grizzlies are looking at the situation as they face the Spurs in the first round. The Grizz shocked the world by defeating the Spurs in game one 101-98 and are looking mighty impressive during game, two which is ongoing now.
To be quite honest, the Spurs could quite possibly lose this series.
Memphis is without its best player Rudy Gay but it still has a roster full of quality guys such as Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, O.J. Mayo, Tony Allen, Shane Battier and even Mike Conley. Sure, on paper this lineup doesn’t match the Spurs with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, but in real life it could be plenty enough for Memphis to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in the franchises 16-years of existence.
The Spurs are old, small and limped into the playoffs…never good.
Duncan and Antonio McDyess have had great and solid careers, but they shows they needs to retire. The problem for San Antonio is, they’re the only true big men on the roster. Matt Bonner is tall but plays like a small forward and DeJuan Blair is simply wide; he doesn’t have the typical big man build or height. At 6’7, Blair can not be expected to bang with the 7’1 Gasol or the 6’9 Randolph, who are both bring a big physical inside presence on both sides of the ball.
Also, Ginobili proves once again he can not be relied on to be healthy for the post season. He missed game one with an elbow injury and was a game time decision to play in game two, which is also in play at this very moment. Every year it seems Ginobili misses games or plays less than 80% because he can’t stay healthy. There is no way the Spurs can win without him, not a chance.
Memphis has all the ingredients to be the Golden State Warriors of 2011. The Warriors were the eight seed in the 2007 playoffs and defeated the one seed Dallas Mavericks in the first round.
The Grizzlies are young and hungry to prove they belong in the NBA. Throughout its 16-years of existence, Memphis has been a horrible franchise that has only made it to the playoffs four times, three with Marc’s brother Pau Gasol in the early/mid 2000’s and this year.
Not only are they hungry but the Grizzlies have the best overall team they have ever had. They run the court, they have big men who can score and rebound with the best of them, they have three point shooters and bench players who make a difference in a game when given the chance. Yeah, sounds like the Warriors.
Memphis is not even close to being called a great team but they do have what it takes to beat the Spurs. If I was a Spurs fan, I’d be afraid, very afraid.