Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 9:00 am  |  20 responses

Post Up: San Antonio Smooth

The Spurs handle the Grizzlies in Game 1 of the WCF.

Spurs 105, Grizzlies 83 (Spurs lead series 1-0)

The San Antonio Spurs took a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals with a solid effort against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.

Leading the way for the Spurs was Tony Parker, who totaled 20 points and 9 assists in 33 minutes. Danny Green added 16 points and 4 rebounds hitting 6-of-9 shots from the field. Kawhi Leonard came up big for San Antonio with 18 points, shooting 4-for-5 from three-point range.

The Grizzlies are playing in their first Western Conference Finals series in franchise history, and it showed. San Antonio started off the game hot, heading into the third quarter with a 14-point advantage.

Memphis began to battle back with a run of their own in the third, but the Spurs, and their barrage of bombs from downtown, quickly thwarted any chance of the Grizzlies coming back. San Antonio ended the game with a franchise record 14 field goals from beyond the arc, while the Grizzlies mustered just five for the game—a discrepancy that told the tale of this game.

“It was just one of those games,” said Parker via NBA.com when asked about the Spurs’ ability to hit from downtown. “Ball movement was great tonight and we’ll try to do the same thing in Game 2. But I’m sure they’re going to make some adjustments. We know that’s not going to happen every game.”

Second year forward Quincy Pondexter led the way for Memphis coming off the bench with 17 points. Mike Conley tallied 14 points (5-12 shooting) and 8 assists. Marc Gasol was the third and final member of the Grizzlies to score in double-digits with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

Zach Randolph had a bad outing offensively for the Grizzlies, with his only two points coming in the fourth quarter. Randolph’s 1-for-8 shooting was his worst ever in a Playoff game when he’s played over 10 minutes.

“A lot of my shots were off,” explained Randolph. “I’ve been double-teamed the whole season. I didn’t get as good a look as I wanted to. It was just the rhythm of the game. I’ve got to be better, as I told my teammates. I’ve got to be better for them.”

For Memphis to have a chance in this series, they’ll need to be much more effective offensively and defensively. It’s safe to say that the team won’t be consistently giving up 14 threes per game and Randolph won’t be going so cold from the field. On average, the Grizzlies have let up six threes a game in the postseason this year, while Randolph has averaged over 15 points on better than 50 percent shooting.

“Zach [Randolph] and Marc [Gasol] are a heck of a combination,” said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. “Everything they do is real difficult to stick with, and you’ve got to have a mindset to do it on every down. I thought we did the best job we could do.”

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Popovich has a 19-3 (.864) all-time record in best-of-seven playoff series when his team wins Game 1. He ranks behind Phil Jackson and Red Auerbach among head coaches with 15 years of postseason experience.—Daniel Friedman

Game 2 will be played on Tuesday night in the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX with tip-off at 9 p.m. EST.

Quotes from this article were pulled from NBA.com’s live stream of each team’s post game press conferences.

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  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    Not sure if this observation is correct. The way the Spurs played Z-Bo on D was something to behold. His shots were so off it seemed as if he didn’t know where he was in relation to the basket. Then I noticed how the Spurs D didn’t allow him to body up. Like a constant pulling the chair on him. They seemed to deliberately try to avoid all body contact and it threw him off completely. Anyone else saw this?

  • Caboose

    Word. Chalk that up to Pop’s brilliance.

  • The Fury

    Yes, yes and yes. Actually I told it to my wife in which she didn’t have a clue on what I’m talking about lol. Maybe they knew (coaching staff), that Z-Bo thrives on body on body D. He’s old school so he likes the physical contact in the post.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    Yeah right, either that or he was smelling like a dead corps??

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    so Memphis really did not look prepared at all.

  • i_ball

    This was the best game the Spurs played so far. I love seeing the Red Rocket making it rain

  • ChosenOne

    His name is Gregg Popovich

  • bike

    Pop is simply a genius. Every time Memphis put together something that looked like a run, Pop calls timeout, Spurs come back and go up 20.

  • Kadavour

    Memphis has been impressive in that when they figure out how to beat you, that’s it, you’re done. Pop better hope Lionel doesn’t have another rabbit to pull out of that hat because he’s (Lionel) done the most impressive coaching job this post season. On another note, i love watching the Spurs play ball. It’s just a joy for any fan of the game within the game.

  • Junior Taylor

    Shhhh…..don’t tell NBK that because he’s the engineer of the “Hollins is overrated” train.

  • Junior Taylor

    We have seen that happen numerous times so far this postseason.
    Game 1 of LAC vs MEM
    Game 1 of OKC vs MEM
    Game 1 of CHI vs MIA
    Game 1 of NYK vs IND
    Game 1 of SA vs GS (GS controlled 98% of the game)

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Memphis didn’t look flat. They looked unprepared. Like they got ready to play against a Tiger and ended up finding a pack of Lions.
    Ok that was extreme. But they just didn’t look ready. And it’s not a detriment to Hollins, how they look in game 2 will say much more about him than game 1 did. I didn’t expect him to know what Popovich was going to do at all.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Memphis has also played 2 teams that didn’t make any adjustments at all. San Antonio made adjustments before this series even started.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    far as i can tell, i am the only person on this train.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    this is the type of thing that HAS to stop if Memphis wants to win.



    And it’s a gameplanning issue.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    The big point is that MEM screwed things up in all different ways, suggesting a general lack of preparation: http://hoopspeak.com/2013/05/matt-bonner-went-off-so-whos-to-blame/

  • Max

    Hollins GCOAT

  • Ronald

    Nope. Hollins is overrated. He’s an old-school coach with old-school coaching philosophies. Z-Bo better heat up or Hollins is going to be exposed big time.

  • Drig

    I’m looking stupid right now……but I’ll still stick with Memphis. The Grizz looked totally out of sorts. Credit to Pop for making the kind of adjustments that makes opposing teams pull their hair out.

    Ball’s in your court, Hollins. Time to get it done in game 2. Or the Spurs are gonna be in the driver’s seat.

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