It’s San Antonio Spurs versus Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals and every way I slice it, Memphis has the Spurs singing the blues at the end. My official prediction is Grizzlies in 6 games, though I can imagine them winning in 5. Here are the top 5 reasons why the Grizzlies will beat the Spurs.
1. Marc Gasol is awesome
Gasol is the best overall center in the game. He’s not athletic in the least but he’s super smart and extremely large. He plays a poised game and he’s going to eat Tim Duncan alive. Duncan is normally a strength for the Spurs but he doesn’t fare well against bulkier players – especially those longer than he is.
2. Tony Parker is injured
The Spurs need Tony Parker at 100% to compete against the elite. Parker is playing decently but he’s clearly hobbled and lacking burst. When he’s healthy, he’s the best point guard in the NBA. Unfortunately for the Spurs, he needs a nice two week rest at exactly the wrong time.
3. Zach Randolph is dominant
He’s probably 6-foot-7 but he’s an absolute beast down low. So far Serge Ibaka and Blake Griffin have struggled mightily against Z-Bo. That is horrible news for the Spurs who carry an array of soft big men outside of Duncan. TD is savvy and will have the best chance to slow down Randolph with his length but I still see a lot of 25-10 games coming from the Grizzlies 4-spot. If Matt Bonner and/or DeJuan Blair get time on Randolph, sound the alarms.
4. Grizzlies defense is #1
The Grizzlies have the best defense in the NBA. The Spurs were already going through ugly, extended droughts on offense against the Warriors. Expect some 70-80 point games from the Spurs against the Grizz.
5. Manu Ginobili is inconsistent
The one caveat to the Grizzlies upset of the Spurs was Ginobili’s absence for most of the series. Ginobili is back and pretty much healthy but he can no longer sustain high caliber play for more than two games in a row. For some reason, the Argentine is mixing in a lot of mental mistakes into his play (more than usual). Either way, the Spurs no longer have the same Ace of hearts waiting in their deck.
With Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili’s lights burning dim and Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol coming into this series white hot, I don’t give the Spurs any real chance at beating the Grizzlies.