Despite having the best regular season record in the West (61-21), the San Antonio Spurs are down 2-1 in their seven-game playoff series against the eight-seeded Memphis Grizzlies.
According to NBA analysts, the Grizzlies purposely lost their last few regular season games so they could get the aging Spurs in the first-round. You would think that this would be an ideal match up for San Antonio since they won 15 more games, have undoubtedly more playoff experience than the Grizzlies and because Memphis is without their star player in Rudy Gay due to a season-ending injury earlier in the year, but that is not the case.
The Spurs Big Three in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker have been outplayed in this series by Memphis's Zach "ZBO" Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr.
The Spurs Big Three only averaged 44 points, shot 41 percent (27-66) from the field and turned the ball over 14 total times in their losses to Memphis in Games 1 (Manu did not play; right elbow sprain) and 3 of the series (Game 1: 101-98, Game 3: 91-88).
On the other hand, ZBO, Gasol and Conley averaged 60 points, shot 52 percent (42-81) from the field and committed 14 turnovers as well in those two wins for the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies big men, ZBO and Gasol have dominated Duncan and Antonio McDyess throughout the first three games of the series, especially in the two wins for Memphis so far.
In Game 1, ZBO and Gasol combined for 49 points and 23 rebounds while Duncan and McDyess only produced 19 points and 14 rebounds together in Memphis's first ever playoff win in team history.
In Game 3, they outscored the San Antonio big men 42-21 en route to the team's first ever playoff victory at home.
We can only imagine how dangerous the Grizzlies would be if Gay was in the lineup, but they still seem to have a little swagger and toughness about themselves and are doing damage to the first-placed Spurs. They look to continue their winning ways and take a commanding 3-1 series lead tonight at home.
If Conley continues to lead this team's offense and take care of the ball (only 10 turnovers to his 22 assists so far) the Grizzlies will win this series in six games. If the Spurs can manage to pull out a win tonight, and split games 5 and 6 then we may be looking at a series that will be decided in the seventh and final game with the advantage going to the Spurs because it will be in their building.
Nonetheless, do not be surprised if the Grizzlies become the second team in NBA history to beat a No. 1 seed in the first-round since the series were expanded to seven games throughout the playoffs.