The playoffs is all about making the big plays, making the right decision and being able to rise into the occasion when the need arises. It’s about the best players playing at a high level.
After three playoff games, the San Antonio Spurs are down 2-1 and are in danger of falling into 1-3 hole.
Manu Ginobili could have done something more drastic at the end of Game 3 but didn’t. Still he has done his share. Without him, the Spurs could have been down 0-3 entering tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Tim Duncan on the other hand, has been a one-man army of Spurs’ the post up offense and while he has done a fairly good job at it, he clearly needs help.
In three games, Duncan is averaging 15 points, 11.3 rebounds and 3.3 block shots. However, his frontcourt buddy Antonio McDyess (who might play with some pain in the neck) is only averaging 5.3 points and 5.4 rebounds so far.
Against the Grizzlies imposing frontline of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, those number will not be enough. Randolph is averaging 20.3 points and eight boards while Gasol is putting up 17.7 and 11.7 rebounds through three games.
That’s a disparity of 18 points per game right there! Unless the Spurs interior defense contain the Grizzlies big men, it will be tough for them to win.
As well as Duncan has been playing, he needs to at least negate Randolph on offense and that could be enough.
But there’s more.
Entering this series, the Spurs expected to have the edge at the point guard position with Tony Parker at the helm.
So far, that wasn’t the case.
Parker is shooting 34.1 percent and committed 10 turnovers in the first three games. Memphis point guard Mike Conley is outplaying Parker in his first playoff series.
Conley is averaging 14.7 points, 7.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds in this series. Parker is averaging 16 points, 5.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds.
While the numbers are close, Parker should be the one putting pressure on Conley, not the other way around.
Could he be affected by the Grizzlies’ physical play and hard fouls?
Maybe. Nonetheless, this is the time of the season where the big boys steps up.
Ginobili and Duncan have done a decent job, but they have to try harder.
He needs to wake up, keep his focus, and prove his critics wrong. This is the perfect time to redeem himself and help the Spurs to saved their season.
Sure, making enough 3-pointers could have helped them steal one game.
But that’s already in the past, what matters most is the present. They have dug themselves out of a hole before, and what better time to do it again than now?
For the Spurs to even this series, their stars has to shine brighter, especially Parker.