In a series that the Memphis Grizzlies never seemed to fully recover in after suffering such a heartbreaking loss in overtime in Game 2 nearly a week ago it seems only right the Grizz got sent home packing in such a close game on their own home court Monday night against the fundamentally sound veteran group known as the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs who where declared by many experts and non-experts including myself as not being young enough or Tim Duncan being as good as he once was to help slow down Memphis very tough aggressive frontcourt duo in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph proved they could stop them (they averaged a measly 25.2 points combined compared to the 37.8 points they combined for against the Thunder in the last round) and that despite how great their defense was they could not stop Tony Parker. The plan was supposed to be to hold Parker in check and focus most the defense on him with nobody else being as big a threat as Parker on the floor for the Spurs.
Memphis couldn’t as it was proved by Parker Monday night, so easily befuddling them with such steeler jumpers, smart passes and crafty drives to the basket for an effortless 37 points, six assists and four rebounds in helping the Spurs to a 93-86 sweep-sealing victory at FedEx Forum in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. An effort that showed why the veteran point guard is the best player on the team and was the Finals MVP the last time the Spurs reached the NBA Finals in 2007.
Whether it was cause they peaked to soon in the NBA Playoffs versus the Clippers and Thunder in the first two rounds sespite or ran out of stem the Grizzlies despite the close scores you see in Game 2 and last night’s Game 4 clincher where never really in the series after that Game 2 heartbreaker. Their lack of experience and not having a closer or pure shooter like Rudy Gay anymore really showed, as well as how greatly the coaching disparity was and why the Spurs find themselves heading to a fifth Finals in the Duncan and Greg Popovich era.
The Spurs could have a rematch of sorts in the Finals too if the LeBron James led Miami Heat move on to face them as expected. It was that 2007 Spurs that lead by their Big Three of Duncan, Parker and Manu Ginobili sweep of the James led Cavaliers was probably one of the deciding factors in Bron wanting to form his own Big Three. Now this veteran Spurs collective that is playing as well collectively as they have in their 11 seasons together will get some much needed rest to see if they do get a rematch of sorts against James or will face a tough physical fundamentally Pacers squad they match up very well with.