After game two, Memphis fans are left in a similar position. They’re seeing their team down 2-0 in the series and on the brink of elimination. However, with their recent history, I don’t think they are too many worried faces as the series shifts back to Beale Street.
Despite getting down by 18 points in Game 2 against the Spurs, a lot can be taken away from that loss. It’s not as bad as it seems. Memphis really struggled shooting in the paint against San Antonio, something Grizzlies fans aren’t used to seeing. They shot just 18-of-46 shooting inside the restricted area (within three feet). That’s just 39.1-percent.
Memphis shot poorly for the game, was in foul trouble, and still found themselves with a chance at redemption, as Mike Conley hit the right-handed floater to tie the game at 85-each.
It’s okay though. It’s not the normal team we’re used to seeing. This team is averaging 52.7-percent shooting in the restricted area in the playoffs, 238-of-452 shooting. So, the frustration of missed shots at the rim has to be a rare thing? Yep. Most of the shots have been just contested, but decent looks a the rim.
If we look at Zach Randolph over the last two games, he’s struggled shooting. Hate to admit it, but he has. Z-Bo is 7-of-25 shooting in the two games this series. The last time he shot poorly in back-to-back games, he came out and dropped 25 points in a season ending win over the Utah Jazz. He knows how to regroup.
A lot of the trouble started in Game 2 when Mike Conley went into foul trouble. Conley picked up his third foul in the middle of the first half. He went to the bench with 4:56 left until halftime. That foul changed the complexion of the team. Coach Lionel Hollins experimented with line-ups, and we forced shots.
When he went to the bench, San Antonio held a slim 31-28 lead. By halftime, the Spurs took advantage of Jarryd Bayless guarding Tony Parker, and finished the half on a 15-3 run. So, things could be a little different, had Conley not gotten that phantom call.
The second half, we saw the influence of the fastest growing superstar in the Western Conference, as Conley played 21 of the 24 minutes in the second half. During that time, Memphis outscored the Spurs 54-39 and shot 50-percent from the field. They did all this while holding Tony Parker to just 4-of-11 and the Spurs to 41.7-percent.
Amazing what having a really good player on the floor can do for you. Despite the struggles in overtime, it was obvious the Grizzlies were tired; see that horrific air ball by Tony Allen.
The league is weird with calls on opposing teams when on the road. It happens. We saw Oklahoma City get special calls when they were at home, same thing for the Clippers. We watch it when the Heat plays. It’s something we’ve come to accept in the league.
All this little information, and we’re going to point out, despite when a team is up 2-0, according to whowins.com, a team wins 94-percent of the time. 17 times a team has come back from an 0-2 deficit, and twice the San Antonio Spurs blew the lead. So, history isn’t exactly on the Spurs side. Five times since 1992-1993 have the Spurs won the first two games of a series, and then found a way to lose games 3 and 4.
So, a lot is left to be decided. We’ll Grit-n-Grind our way through Games 3 and 4. One thing that is for sure, the Spurs better get ready, we’re not going down without a fight.
Get ready, San Antonio.