Amazing game, no doubt.
Gary Neal? Really? REALLY?
Gotta give it to the Spurs. Crazy game, crazy outcome, crazy shots, just crazy.
As for the if onlys and what ifs, there are some. Too many. What are they?
-The big three for the Spurs. One would surmise that if the Spurs were to live to fight another day, it would be the combination of those guys that would allow them to do so. And they did. Manu and Tony getting in the lane, Tim D doing what he’s done the whole series, numbers-wise. Safe to say, though, that Ginobli went nuts, no matter who was guarding him.
-Something I never thought I’d see-Shane Battier getting rattled by a couple of really weird calls. The one where he was called for a block in the backcourt on Duncan was one of the craziest calls I’ve ever seen in the thousands of NBA games I’ve watched. Not that it was horrible-sure, there was contact-but it’s just so rare to see a call from behind the play like that. It was easy to see that the lack of connection that has troubled Shane since he was traded back to the Griz continued to rear its ugly head this game. Not that he loses his hustle, he’s just still a bit disconnected with the offense, a nice pass or two notwithstanding.
-Conley and Parker both go 9-20. Weird, huh? Both playing a major role in the offense besides just playmaking (Parker clearly won that battle tonight). Biggest problem with the Griz’ offense this game is easily seen in those eleven missed shots by Conley-I’m not going to go look it up, but I’m just going to hazard a wild guess that many of them were late-shot-clock halfhearted pick-and-pop jobs. Which means that the Spurs’ interior D gets major credit for preventing the Grizzlies’ entry passes. As the season progressed, the Griz got better at not forcing the initial entry pass and swinging the ball to the other side of the court, setting a screen under the basket, and getting the post player open on the other side. The Spurs did a better-than-decent job of delaying, redirecting, or preventing the second-option post pass (although ZBo did pile up some points). Which goes back to Conley and the jumpshots. He’s gotten better at them for SURE-but they didn’t fall enough tonight.
I just can’t talk about that last possession of regulation. I’ll vomit.
Time to stand up Memphis. Can’t let this go to seven. GO GRIZZLIES.