Well, here we are. We knew the Grizz would be a tough first round opponent, but tonight is basically do or die for the boys in silver and black. Memphis is now supremely confident, and it shows with every contested jumper they drill. Tonight, the Spurs need to make it even tougher on them, and re-discover their ball-sharing, deadly-accurate shooting ways on offense. Go down 3-1, and things start to look very grim. Win tonight, and you seize back the home court advantage lost in game 1.
This game is the turning point.
Western Conference Playoffs
Round 1 - Game 4
San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies
Where: FedEx Forum
When: 04/25/2011, 7:00 PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
By the Numbers
PG: Through three consecutive games, it's no longer a fluke. Conley is shooting, rebounding, and assisting at a higher rate than Tony. C'mon, Tony... make your move.
SG: Manu's been incredible in the two games he's played in this series. Allen is an extremely good defensive player, which just makes Manu's performance all the more amazing. Manu has been our best player in the series, and the only perimeter Spur living up to his reputation.
SF: RJ's been winning this matchup so far, but he kinda disappeared in the last contest. Come back to us, RJ - we need you.
PF: Let's hope Dice is good to go today, because Blair or Bonner vs' Z-Bo would be a defensive catastrophe. As it is, Dice can barely contain him.
C: This matchup has been much closer than it should be, as Timmeh has all too often had to try to cover for the defensive shortcomings of [insert lesser teammate's name here] against Randolph, leaving Gasol open. I'd actually like to see the Spurs run more 4-down. I feel like they've all but abandoned Timmeh as an option.
One thing that absolutely will not continue is OJ Mayo's 29% shooting. Will. not. continue. That said, the Nailgun still hasn't had a breakout game, and I can't see his poor shooting continuing much longer either.
The annual head-scratching and teeth-gnashing by Pop haters has begun, and the mental mistakes made by the Spurs in game 3 would seem to justify that. But, I think the old man deserves more of a chance - after all, this playoff thing isn't exactly new to him.
So, the aforementioned mental mistakes are starting to add up for the Spurs, which is very out of character for the team we've known over the past decade and a half. We out-rebounded Memphis by 11 last game, which is unheard of, but still lost mostly on mental errors. Not good.
Until their perimeter shots start falling, the Spurs lose on this count.
I'm not sure why, but I still believe the Spurs should be able to wipe the floor with this team if they bring their "A" game.
Key to the Game
Don't give them extra possessions - We need to take care of the ball and crash the defensive boards. The only reason Memphis is even in the playoffs is because they get a lot more possessions per game than their opponents. Otherwise, they're on par with Houston or Phoenix.
Stop playing like crap on offense - self-explanatory.
48 Minutes of Hell - Still the best Spurs analysis out there.
Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back.
Project Spurs - This is another fun bunch. Be sue to check out their podcasts.
Spurs Nation - The official Express-News Spurs blogsite.
This game is on TNT and Fox Sports Southwest
WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]
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 firstname.lastname@example.org(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.