Round 1, Game 3 Preview: The BatManu is Back

Timmeh starts to work on a bald spot for George.

Game 2 can be summed up with four words: The Return of Manu Ginobili. Hopefully, Game 3 can be summed up with these words: The Return of the Playoff Spurs.

Much has been made of Manu's "robot" arm. In fact, DocFunk and transgo got into the act with this gem:

Manu-robot_medium

I have a slightly different theory - I think his arm is now bionic and the only reason Manu was wearing the bulky brace was to cover the still growing skin. But maybe that's just me. Of course, the minute my brain hears "bionic", it immediately goes to those iconic 1970s TV shows: The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. Now if we could just get those sound effects every time Manu shoots the ball.



Now onto the preview:

Ptr_ambigram_white_on_black_medium
Western Conference Playoffs
Round 1 - Game 3

***************
Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs
Where: FedExForum

When: 04/23/2011, 6:30 PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: ESPN / FSSW


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By the Numbers

Data sources:
hoopdata.com | basketball-reference.com


1
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 109.4
(2nd)
102.8
(11th)
Rebound %
24.9
(21st)
74.6
(11th)
Field Goal % 47.5
(4th)
45.6
(12th)
3-Point % 39.7
(1st)
36.7
(22nd)
Free Throw %
76.7
(14th)
76.6
(18th)
Turnover %
12.8
(7th)
12.6
(7th)
Assist %
58.3
(14th)
53.9
(3rd)
1
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 104.4
(16th)
102.5
(8th)
Rebound %
28.9
(6th)
72.5
(21st)
Field Goal % 47.1
(6th)
45.7
(13th)
3-Point % 33.4
(27th)
36.9
(24th)
Free Throw %
75
(23rd)
76.1
(11th)
Turnover %
13
(10th)
15.7
(1st)
Assist %
52.8
(29th)
58.1
(17th)

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Antonio McDyess
C: Tim Duncan

Key Bench Players
Gary Neal
DeJuan Blair
Matt Bonner
George Hill
Danny Green


Lineups

Starters
PG: Mike Conley
SG: Tony Allen
SF: Sam Young
PF: Zach Randolph
C: Marc Gasol

Key Bench Players
O.J. Mayo
Shane Battier
Darrell Arthur
Greivis Vasquez
Hamed Haddadi

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward

Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Starters

PG: Parker needs to dominate Fisher Conley. Conley has done a good job staying in front of Parker in the first two games. Tony needs to regain his shooting touch, while continuing to drive and dish.

SG: Manu played like a maniac, throwing himself around like a rag doll. Despite Allen's physical defense, Ginobili got the better of the matchup of crazy men. Two more days of rest should help Manu regain his shooting touch - or at least give the Spurs' trainers some more time to tweak his bionic arm.

SF: Rage has become RJ 3.0 in the playoffs. His rebounding has been aggressive and his help defense has been stellar. In fact, the Spurs should give Jefferson some more touches on offense.

PF: The Spurs doubled down on the post in Game 2 and prevented Randolph from repeating his Game 1 performance. Randolph is still a beast down low. McDyess (and Blair) will need to body Z-Bo and try to limit his effectiveness.

C: Gasol came back down to earth in Game 2 on the offensive end. The GOATPUFF had another double-double. Timmeh on two days of rest should be ready to go, but the Spurs can't afford to have him foul out again (or have as many turnovers).

Bench

Neither bench had great numbers last game, although George had ice water in his veins down the stretch. We need Bonner and Neal to hit some outside shots to open up the lane for Tony, Manu and Hill.

Coaching

So far Hollins has done a good job, but I'm betting that Pop has used the last few days to come up with some new schemes.

Intangibles

Memphis has the confidence of having won one of the first two games and of being at home.

Mojo

The BatManu is back. Any questions?

Prediction

The Spurs dig into their vast bag of playoff knowledge to pull out a close one.

Key to the Game

Turnovers - Both Timmeh and Manu had 5 turnovers - the team had 18 as a whole. That's way too many and led to 13 fast break points by the Grizz. Take care of the balls, guys.

Post Defense - It's imperative that the Spurs continue packing the paint.

Shooting - The Spurs bounced back to shoot better from behind the arc, but need to shoot better from the FT line (I expect this to improve greatly as Manu's elbow improves). Making more shots is important, as we can't expect Memphis to shoot as poorly again from 3-pt land.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell - Still the best Spurs analysis out there, with a brand spanking new format.

Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back....and chippy.

Project Spurs - This is another fun bunch. Be sure to check out their podcasts.

Spurs Nation - The official Express-News Spurs blog site.

OPPONENT

Straight Outta Vancouver (SB Nation) - Not sure what happened to djturtleface, but SOV lives on under new management.
3 Shades of Blue - The Memphis TrueHoop affiliate. Good stuff.

Following Along

TV

ESPN and Fox Sports Southwest

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

Online

League Pass doesn't stream playoff games, so those of us stateside are on our own if we can't catch the TV broadcast.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com (IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.

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