The NBA: 2013 WCF: Best of the West

It took the San Antonio Spurs 6 years to get back to the NBA Finals.
They await the Heat or the Pacers
(Image from: Manu Ginobili)
#GoSpursGo #sweep #BestoftheWest
It only took the Spurs 4 games to advance to the NBA Finals. This was a series that many predicted to be grueling and tight. Some experts even had the Grizzlies advancing instead of the battle-tested Spurs (I picked the Spurs in 6). San Antonio was in control for most of the series and Memphis was unable to retaliate and adjust. Sure, two of the games went into OT but the Spurs still prevailed after initially having big leads during regulation. Tim Duncan and Tony Parker had impressive performances during the series while their supporting cast did just enough to propel them over the Grizzlies. Meanwhile, Memphis struggled scoring and Zach Randolph was the biggest reason they were unable to defeat the Spurs for at least one game. Randolph could not find the bottom of the basket as he mustered only 16 total FGs in 4 games and shot 30% from the field vs the Spurs. Randolph was dominant in the previous 2 rounds but he could not overcome the Spurs' defense and strategy against him. Mike Conley also had a sub par series as Tony Parker destroyed him offensively. Parker averaged 24 and 9 while Conley responded with just 15 and 7. The Grizzlies needed more from Conley and Randolph especially since Tony Allen and Tayshaun Prince are liabilities on offense.

#Big3 #Timmy #Manu #TP
The Spurs Trio will have a chance to win their 4th title together in the Finals. Tim Duncan will be gunning for his 5th ring which further cements his place as the best PF in NBA history. At 37 years old, Timmy has eluded "father time" this season and his play vs the Grizzlies was amazing. Duncan outplayed Gasol and Randolph for most of the series including hustling down the court for fast break/transition opportunities. Manu Ginobili struggled scoring and shooting but he still produced all-around numbers with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. If Manu ever finds his shooting stroke again, the Spurs look unbeatable. Lastly, Tony Parker is playing at MVP levels. He eviscerated the Grizzlies' defense with 37 points (season-high), mostly on easy and uncontested layups. He shot 15 of 21 (53% for the series) as he constantly got to the paint with no challenge coming from Memphis. The Spurs had 52 points in the paint compared to only 32 for the Grizzlies. The Spurs were the best assist team in the regular season and they are doing the same in the playoffs.

#Grizzlies #Grit&Grind
The Memphis Grizzlies did not win a game versus the Spurs in the WCF but this season can still be considered a success. Memphis finished with 56 wins in the regular season and they won 2 rounds in the playoffs. The Grizz traded Rudy Gay away but they still finished with a winning record and their team defense improved immensely. Other players developed and got better as well. Marc Gasol established himself as one of the best centers in the NBA and he received the DPOY award. Mike Conley emerged in the playoffs as a dependable player who can take and make clutch shots. Tony Allen remains a premier defender on the perimeter but he needs to vastly improve his jumper. As for Z-Bo, if he played like his 2011 version against the Spurs, then Memphis had a great chance of winning the series. It's unfortunate that Z-Bo failed to play like that and now the Grizzlies are going fishing. Overall, the Grizzlies took another step forward to becoming among the elite teams in the NBA. They just need more help/depth from the bench and Tony Allen needs to develop an outside shot.

#NBAFinals #Heat #Pacers
The Spurs will have more than a week to rest before the NBA Finals begin on June 6. If the Heat-Pacers reach 7 games, the Spurs will definitely have a big advantage when it comes to resting and preparing. That might mean impending doom for the Heat/Pacers because Coach Popovich is one of  the best coaches in the NBA. Some could argue that Pop is the best in the business and with all that time to game plan and prepare, the Spurs could be the favorites to win it all. Do the Spurs have a preference between Heat or Pacers? They beat the Pacers twice in the regular season while the Spurs lost twice to the Heat. The games against Miami dont mean much since both games featured a bunch of missing key players. The Spurs can match-up against the front line of Hibbert, George and West although Indy would have the overall advantage there. The Spurs have the advantage in the back-court and bench players. Meanwhile against Miami, a lot of the match-ups could cancel out each other (Allen-Ginobili, Duncan-Bosh, Wade-Leonard, Parker-James, etc). A series versus the Heat would rekindle the LeBron vs the Spurs story-line of 2007 where the Cleveland Cavaliers got swept. Do you think Heat-Spurs is a better match-up than Pacers-Spurs?  

#Player of the Night
Tony Parker (Spurs) - 37, 4 rebounds, 6 assists on 15-21 FGs 

#Highlight of the Night
Top Plays of Game 4

#Tweets of the Nights

As far as "Big Three" combos go, it's hard to top what Duncan, Parker and Ginobli have done the past 10 years.

Hate it or love it...Parker IS the 3rd best player in the ENTIRE NBA. Period. Behind only LBJ & KD

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