The Tragic Johnson staff is all about that real Hip Hop. Hip Hop and bball go hand and hand, so before I get into the Memphis Grizzlies/San Antonio Spurs series, gotta say that if you don’t have Talib Kweli’s new joint “Prisoner of Conscious” you’re missing out on the best album I’ve heard all year. Tragic Johnson approved….word to Pinky.
Ok now to the bball. A lot of people tore acl’s and twisted their ankles jumping off of the Grizzlies bandwagon after game 1. Its understandable, they caught a Red vs Debo style beatdown.
Its all about adjustments right now and the adjustments Memphis needs to make shouldn’t be hard to implement and I fully expect them to bounce back with a strong game 2. They’re 0-3 in game 1’s this playoffs and they’re here in the WCF. They make adjustments quite well, thank you…
Spurs won game 1 and they get credit for hitting over 50% of their 3’s, but I think that was a case of over-helping and under-rotating if that makes any sense.
Memphis defenders were helping on penetration when they didn’t need to. That plus the late/lazy rotations lead to Bonner and the other Spurs shooters getting WIDE open looks. Give the Spurs credit for knocking those shots down, but you should hit those shots when you’re THAT wide open.
So what do the Grizz do? They’ve got to adjust the pick and roll coverage. I saw Mike Conley going over the top of the screens which basically gave Tony Parker a running start at the big who showed defensively. This created so many openings, that Parker was just picking them apart. He got layups, pullup J’s, and kickouts for 3’s. You’ve got to take something away from TP. I think he’s much more dangerous in the paint, so I’m thinking the Grizz go under the screen on P&R take away a couple of the options.
If he hits contested, midarange jumpers then give him a pound and keep it moving. But he can’t light you up AND get the Red Rocket and the other shooters going. Way too easy in game 1. Count on those 3’s being neutralized.
As for offense, I’m not expecting Z-Bo to play that bad again. Duncan did a masterful job of moving his feet and using his length to keep Randolph quiet all game. I fully expect to see a steady diet of high-low play between Marc Gasol and Z-Bo. I don’t like the straight up iso postup on Duncan, so look for there to be some guards setting offball screens on Duncan to get Zach on the move. If he catches it on the move, that will make his jab step and pump fake more effective. Plus he’s the best at sealing inside, if there happens to be a switch its buckets.
The Spurs can’t count on all of those 3’s again, so I think they’ll try and get Ginobilli. He wasn’t needed too much in game 1, but he hit some shots late that turned an 6-8 point game into that massive pimp slap.
They’ll look to see what Memphis does, they’ll adjust, and we’re going to have a great game tonight.
I’ll get you a breakdown of Heat/Pacers tomorrow. We’re going to have 2 great conference finals. Basketball fans rejoice!
– N.D. Face