Sports — 20 May 2013

The San Antonio Spurs opened the Western Conference Finals with a 22-point win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game One. As fans, we tend to overreact from game to game in the playoffs, so I remind you not to make the same mistake here. These two teams do it the old-fashioned way, they earn it. For the Grizzlies and Spurs, it starts at the top with great coaching. Gregg Popovich and Lionel Hollins are successful with their teams because they have a proven record of success, and most importantly, they know how to get players to not only buy-in but accept their role.

Playoff basketball usually comes down to execution, rebounding, and defense. Just take a look at the final four in the NBA Playoffs: Miami, Indiana, Memphis, and San Antonio know how to execute on the defensive end of the floor. Even with the game one loss, I still give Memphis a slight edge in this series. Memphis has the size with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol to deal with Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter and they have several perimeter defenders to throw at Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. The longer this series goes, the more it favors the Grizzlies. Don’t sleep on either team. Miami may be the defending champs, but I think the Western Conference will be properly represented by either team. Playoff basketball is fantastic.

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