With eight wins in their last nine games, some NBA pundits believe the Memphis Grizzlies are the favorites in the Western Conference to advance to the NBA Finals. The teams split the season-series this year, indicating the margin between the two is rather slim. The difference -- as in most series -- will come down to small adjustments and key performances from the supporting cast. Here's some story lines that may be important to monitor.
San Antonio Spurs fans are perhaps the best fans in the league. At the AT&T Center they are loud, vocal, and are dressed from head to toe in anything black and silver. And after the Spurs sent the Warriors packing for the summer after winning Game 6 in Oakland, the Spurs fans showed just how much they love their team.
After landing in San Antonio, the Spurs were greeted by their adoring fans at 5 am. That's right, Spurs fans were out in full-force in the wee hours of the morning to cheer their favorite team after advancing to the Western Conference Finals to face the Grizzlies. It even got the attention of DeJuan Blair.no comments
Ask Gregg Popovich the secrets to the San Antonio Spurs sustained success on any given day and you’re likely to get one of two answers. On most days Popovich will simply flash that condescending gaze, staring daggers into your soul until you find yourself apologizing for wasting his time with such a stupid question.
Ever ask someone for a number and get turned down? (Looks around, looks around) Yeah me either, but it happens all the time. Turns out it can also happen to basketball teams who want to talk to draft prospects. According to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, the San Antonio Spurs interviewed Ohio State swingman Deshaun Thomas at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and were shot down when they asked him for his phone number.
“I can’t go around giving it out to everyone,” Thomas said Thursday with a laugh. “Now if they want to draft me, I’d be happy to give it to them.”
Hilarious. I understand needing to be cautious with who you give your number to, but I'm pretty sure R.C. Buford and whoever else is in the room isn't going to tweet it out or go in to a bathroom stall and write "For a good time call" and then put Thomas' number. Thomas did give them his email address, so maybe he's more of a GChat guy. Either way, Deshaun, when a team asks you for your number, you should probably give it to them.
Rice, Jr. interviews with Spurs, Bullock scheduled for a workoutno comments
The San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies will get the 2013 Western Conference Finals underway this weekend in San Antonio. Heading into the series, both the Spurs and Grizzlies look poised, sharp, and focused with both team dispatching the Warriors and Thunder respectively in the semifinals.
Let's take a quick look at some of the Grizzlies' stats during their run to the West Finals.
Through 11 postseason games, Memphis is shooting 43% from the field, 31% from the three-point line, 76% from the free-throw line, 40 rebounds per game, 19.5 assists, 10 turnovers, 7 steals and 4 blocks
3 up, 3 down on the road in the postseasonno comments
San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili will not participate in the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain qualifiers according to Team Argentina head coach Julio Lamas (via elpatagonico.net).
What we do known in advance, is that neither Emanuel Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs, NBA) and Andres Nocioni (Labor Kutxa, Spain) and Leonardo Gutierrez (Peñarol de Mar del Plata) will not be in Venezuela between August 30 and September 11 for the 2014 World Cup in Spain.
Ginobili playing during the offseason has always brought mixed feelings from Spurs fans. Some feel he shouldn't play during the summer and rest for the next NBA season while others have no issues with him playing with Team Argentina seeing his desire to represent his home country as something to admire.no comments
19, 21, 19, 23.
Above are four random numbers. When put into the realm of basketball on Thursday, those numbers represent how many points the San Antonio Spurs allowed the Golden State Warriors to score in Game 6 in four consecutive quarters.
Like last season, the Spurs are one their way back to the Western Conference Finals after eliminating the Warriors 94-82. Unlike last year though, the Spurs have shown the ability to be a defensive force as they held the high scoring Warriors, who came into the series averaging 107 points per game in the playoffs, to 98 points in the series.no comments
The matchup of the game for Game 6 between the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semi-Finals will be between Stephen Curry and the backcourt of the San Antonio Spurs.
While Stephen Curry has been slowed down by a second injury to his left ankle, it may be the defense that's helping keep him tamed on the offensive end. Even after Curry injured his ankle, he seemed to have gotten shots off and making them at an impressive rate with the exception of last game. He shot 1-7 from the 3-point arc last game while only scoring 9 points (4-14 FG). The Spurs have zoned in on him and kept him close after getting screens from his big men, but have also incorporated another aspect in the game that has made Curry a liability. The Spurs' Tony Parker, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, and Kawhi Leonard have made Stephen Curry work for the whole game and that will show in Game 6 also.
What the Spurs must do on offense:no comments
The San Antonio Spurs won a decisive Game 5, putting the pressure on the Warriors to match their execution. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson -- coach Mark Jackson christened them as the best shooting backcourt ever -- combined for a series-low 13 points on Tuesday and missed almost three times more shots (16) than they made (6). Entering tonight's penultimate game, there are still a lot of questions that haven't been resolved.
What happened to Thompson?
Since his 3-point shooting barrage in Game 2, which cemented the Warriors’ first win in San Antonio since 1997, Thompson has been nonexistent. The Spurs haven't deployed a drastically different defensive scheme -- Kawhi Leonard still checks Thompson -- but they have just about eradicated all transition 3-point attempts and open looks that he usually subsists on.no comments
While San Antonio Spurs fans have been showering former Spur Richard Jefferson with boos every time he has checked in for the Goflden State Warriors, there wasn't anything there to show any tension between Jefferson and his former teammates, until now.
After a timeout during Game 5 in San Antonio, Jefferson recieved a little shove from both Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan. While some say it's because he was on the Spurs' side, it seems to me that this happens after Jefferson blocks use of the courtside traction pad from Spurs guard Cory Joseph.
While the shoves were nothing too serious or overly aggressive, it's still a surprise between a group of former teammates. While one could see they were playing with Jefferson, Duncan's scowl and subsequent staredown made it seem like much more than that.no comments