In a postseason of tremendous ups and downs for teams in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs really should be hitting the panic button, as they run the risk of falling into a 3-1 series hole on Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, the No. 8 seed in the conference.
The biggest lead that the Spurs had in Game 3 against Memphis was just one point, something that you virtually every see for a No. 1 seed this early in the playoffs. Now, San Antonio finds itself in a hole for the second time in this series that it needs to claw out of. The intangibles all seemed to have pointed the Spurs’ way in Game 3, something that just cannot be ignored. They won the battle on the glass 48-37 (and won one the offensive boards 12-8), and they blocked six more shots than did the Grizzlies. The two teams had comparable shooting percentages both from the field and from the charity stripe, and the foul distribution was basically even. San Antonio only had nine fast break points though, something that is a shock for a team that is really trying to get up and go this year. 13 turnovers, six of which came from Tony Parker were just too many in a game like this. Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan all had fairly good games, but they combined to hit just 15 shots from the field. The rest of the starters only had five made field goals, and save for George Hill, no one off of the bench did anything of note.
Over the course of the last few days, the Grizzlies have won their first playoff game in franchise history and their first home playoff game in franchise history, and they are now just two wins away from their first series win to boot. Even though the bench is relatively short for the Grizz, they have gotten some great contributions out of OJ Mayo, Shane Battier, and Darrell Arthur in this series, and that has certainly not been overlooked as to why Memphis is beating the NBA odds on a regular basis. Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are really making names for themselves in the post. Save for Duncan though, there really aren’t many bodies that can match up with these two, and we know that the future Hall of Famer is at the end of his career and can’t defend like he used to be able to. Mike Conley Jr. has had a great series as well, and in Game 3, he came up with 14 points, eight assists, and six rebounds, making up for the fact that he only shot 4-of-12 from the floor.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies Pick: Still, there’s a point that the Spurs have to be coming back in this series… right? We have growing pessimism about the silver and black, but we know if there is a coach that we would love to have on our side with our backs against the wall, it’s Head Coach Gregg Popovich. Take the Spurs -1 in Game 3.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.