Today’s Games (All times are Eastern):
|9:00 PM||Memphis Grizzlies||San Antonio Spurs||Grizzlies|
After being demolished 105-83 by the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, the Memphis Grizzlies will try to rebound in Game 2. If the Grizzlies can recover from that Game 1 debacle and win Game 2, they will earn an all-important split on the road and snatch home-court advantage from the Spurs.
The Grizzlies will have to shore up their defense, particularly around the three-point line, if they hope to head home to Memphis with a 1-1 split. Memphis allowed San Antonio to hit a franchise playoff-record 14 three-pointers in Game 1. The 42 points that the Spurs scored behind the three-point arc represent 40% of San Antonio’s Game 1 offense. With San Antonio getting so many wide-open three-point attempts, one would think that the Grizzlies probably did a decent job of defending the paint. However, looking at the shot chart, one would find that the Spurs made a host of shots right at the front of the rim en route to their 30 points in the paint.
Although Memphis failed to adequately protect either the paint or the three-point arc, the Grizzlies did do a decent job of defending San Antonio’s mid-range jumpers. The bulk of the Spurs’ misses came from between six and 20 feet from the rim. The Grizzlies have been one of the best defensive teams in the NBA all season long and I fully expect their defense to have a much greater presence in Game 2 than it did in Game 1.
San Antonio got—and converted—so many wide-open three-point opportunities because of its excellent ball movement. The Spurs had 28 assists on 40 made field goals and all 14 of their three-point baskets were assisted.
Defensively, San Antonio’s bigs did a great job of neutralizing Memphis’ big men. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph combined to make just eight of their 24 field goal attempts (33.3 percent), and the Spurs limited the duo to a combined total of just 17 points and 14 rebounds.
If San Antonio can find—and make—open shots and neutralize the effectiveness of Gasol and Randolph like they did in Game 1 tonight, the Spurs will give themselves a great chance to take a 2-0 series lead.
|Memphis Grizzlies 83||San Antonio Spurs 105||Grizzlies||Spurs|
Random NBA Fan’s Record in Sunday’s Games: 0-1
Random NBA Fan’s Record for the Playoffs: 46-22