All the talk about the Spurs getting fined for resting players was a bit of a smoke screen for a match up of two of the best teams in the league. It was a real battle of two tough teams who execute and execute. In short, it was an early season playoff game. The good news for us is that the Spurs won in overtime. The Grizzlies are a strong and physical team. They play a very tough style of basketball that represents their coach. Hard-nosed. No bullshit. Intense. Play hard or don’t play at all. The great thing about matching up with the Grizzlies, in my mind, is that the two teams battle the hell out of each other and do it with class (at least when Tony Allen isn’t playing). Guys will deliver an elbow to the jaw, check on the recipient to make sure they are okay, then keep on playing as if it didn’t happen. It’s the way the game should be played.
Song of the Game: ‘Rock and Roll Doctor’ by Little Feat
‘Rock and Roll Doctor’ isn’t my favorite from Little Feat. It’s not their most popular. I do think, though, that it really shows off their funky style and their amazingly great vocals. Lowell George’s voice is amazing to me. His range is large. His timbre is interesting. But I think the best part of his vocals is that he really uses his voice as an instrument and he makes words into multiple sounds. The guy was a wonderful talent and a musical genius.
Play of the Game: The Patrick Mills Steal To Matt Bonner 3-Ptr
The turning point in the game happened early in the fourth quarter with the Spurs trying desperately to get themselves back into the game. The Spurs were down 11 after a Patrick Mills 3-pointer answered a Pondexter 3-pointer with 9:30 to go. The Grizzlies had a frustrating possession where they got a couple offensive rebounds and couldn’t convert. Nando snagged the board and pushed it up court quickly to Manu who shot a 3 on the break and missed. Pondexter grabbed the rebound, but Mills snuck up behind him, stole the ball, and flipped it in for a layup. Bayless missed a 3-pointer on the next possession for the Grizzlies and Manu grabbed the board. He found Bonner for a long angle 3 that hit nothing but net and cut the lead to six. The crowd was energized and the game was on.
Trending Up: Tim Duncan
Tim is playing fabulous and looks spry and young. His throw down and yell against Marc Gasol was great to see, but I also think it shows you how good Tim feels about himself. Any time you go up against one of the better centers in the league and walk away with a 27 and 15 you are doing alright.
Trending Down: Gary Neal’s Shot, But Not His Nards
Man, the guy plays with a pair of brass ones. He struggled with his shooting against the Heat and again in the first half of this game. Did he care? Hell no. He ended 4-16 in this one, but he hit some big 3s in the second half. I loved the one he hit on the move, on the break, to bring us within 4 with just over 6 minutes to go. Then, he hit one curling around Tim a minute later to cut the lead to 3. He made 3 3-pt shots and a little layup, but wasn’t able to get his mid-range game going. I love his tenacity when he doesn’t really have his stroke going, but I love him more when he has his stroke.
Danny Green was throwing up rocks. Then he got hurt.
Stat of the Game: Z-Bo 5-21 FG
Where the hell was that two years ago? No way the Grizzlies win that series if Zach has a couple of these shooting games.