1st Round Game 5 Preview: Spurs vs Grizzlies - No Swan Song here

Are we down 3-1? Yes! Yes we are! Have the Grizzlies beaten us silly, crushed our collective Spirit? Made fun of Timmy and Manu? Has Lionel Hollins outcoached Pop this series? Are all the Haters chuckling like mad at the team's failure? A thousand times yes... Are we finished? Hell No!

Galaxy Quest (via rearm002)


Look, I get it... if you don't think the Spurs can win this series, I understand. You're not the only one. I understand if you think we're too old. We have too slim a margin for failure. If you believe that RJ can't play, that Bonner sucks, that Blair is too short, that Tiago is the only answer, that Pop is so bad that if we had any other coach we wouldn't be losing this series, that Parker should have been traded for Eva, then please go right over to By the Horns and jump on the bandwagon there.

No great story comes without adversity. Every success story has a death and resurrection. The Spurs championship years had their share of troubles, and, until we are defeated, there is always hope no matter the odds.

As a reminder to anyone who isn't paying much attention to the metagame surrounding the NBA, this could possibly be the Spurs last game before the lockout. If the lockout takes up the whole of next year, then this game could be Duncan's last game. And when he retires whatever crack of championship light that is still shining through will effectively be snuffed. As much as we love Manu and Parker, there's no way the Spurs contend without Duncan (until Splitter pans out of course).


So... what happened? We were doing so well! We won 46 games before getting into the double digit loss column. Well... Let me explain. The Spurs have spent the year acting like the Phoenix Suns. When we finally ran into a Spuresque buzzsaw, well... you see what happened in the last 4 games. Everything points to our luck just running out. For the first half of the season, every single Spur thought that they were invincible, that they deserved the championship. We had a bunch of misfits with chemistry that would make Louis Pasteur jealous. Unfortunately, our peak for the season happened in early March. We crushed a Miami team that shouldn't have been playing. Everyone started talking about the Spurs and our guys lost what got them to that point.

We made excuses, "Teams are testing themselves against us because we're the #1 seed", "Duncan went down with an injury", "They're too physical with us", I could go on and on. But the time for excuses is over. We are down in the worst possible situation right now, facing a team that believes that they should win this series and we have to win 3 games in a row against them. It's time to put up or shut up.


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San Antonio Spurs vs Memphis
Where: AT&T Center

When: April 27, 2011 7:30 PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: NBA TV / FSSW


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By the Numbers

Data sources:
Jordan's Brain

Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating Bad
(2nd)
Worse
(2nd)
Rebound %
Bad
(2nd)
Worse
(2nd)
Field Goal % Bad
(2nd)
Worse
(2nd)
3-Point % Bad
(2nd)
Worse
(2nd)
Free Throw %
Bad
(2nd)
Worse
(2nd)
Turnover %
Bad
(2nd)
Worse
(2nd)
Assist %
Bad
(2nd)
Worse
(2nd)
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating Good
(1st)
Better
(1st)
Rebound %
Good
(1st)
Better
(1st)
Field Goal % Good
(1st)
Better
(1st)
3-Point % Good
(1st)
Better
(1st)
Free Throw %
Good
(1st)
Better
(1st)
Turnover %
Good
(1st)
Better
(1st)
Assist %
Good
(1st)
Better
(1st)
Record Wins Losses
Overall 1
3
Conference 1
3
Division 1
3
Home 1
1
Away 0
2
Position Conference Division
Record Crappy Awful
Lineups

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

Key Bench Players
DeJuan Blair
Tiago Splitter
George Hill
Gary Neal

Record Wins Losses
Overall 3
1
Conference 3
1
Division 3
1
Home 2
0
Away 1
1
Position Conference Division
Record Ok
Better than us
Lineups

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

Key Bench Players
Shane Battier
OJ Mayo
Darrell Arthur

Matchup Analysis


Point Guard
Shooting Guard

Small Forward

Power Forward
Center

Bench

Coach

Intangibles

Mojo
Winner

Starters

PG: I don't care what happens as long as we win. Conley is a very solid point guard and color me impressed with the way he handles himself. Parker has had one good half and we won that half. Other then that, Grizzlies win.

SG: I don't know who punched confidence into Tony Allen, I've waited for 4 games for him to stop dominating like he does. It's not a fluke anymore. He's crushing us and the Spur goes in our favor.

SF: RJ 3.0 downgraded. Honestly, he's not a good fit for us. Unfortunately, he was the best available SF free agent last year and we need that position. Here's hoping we get a solid SF in the draft.

PF: Antonio lost his cool last night. It was pretty crazy. The refs have been riling him for the past 4 games. I don't want to see him retire without a ring.

C: Tim Duncan has been thoroughly dominated this series. He's not the man he used to be. Why are we only giving him 29 minutes during the regular season and only 30 in the playoffs? I thought we were saving him.

Bench

Our bench was amazing for so many games. I don't know if they all hit the rookie wall or what, but it's been awful for the past month. Their bench has hit the big shots this series.

Coaching

If I was starting up a franchise and had a HoF power forward, I would want Pop as my coach. Hollins has done a better job this series though

Intangibles

They've won more than we have

Mojo

Mojo is dead for good

Prediction

Spurs win by 14

Key(s) to the Game

Key 1 - Play smart. We need to stop overthinking and just do it right.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell - They're calling for a swan song

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

Project Spurs

Spurs Nation

OPPONENT

Straight outta Vancouver (SB Nation)

Following Along

TV

NBA TV - FSSW

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

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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