In the classic battle of youth vs. experience, experience usually wins out…until it doesn't, as is the case with the San Antonio Spurs who finds themselves in a 3-1 hole after losing game 4 to the Memphis Grizzlies Monday night. Dubbed as an older team looking for one last run, the Spurs have looked more like dinosaurs that aged vets in their disappointing series to date with the Grizzlies and like the dinosaurs, they are about to find themselves extinct.
"They've really dialed it in," the Spurs Tim Duncan said of Memphis, "They've got a game plan that's working, they're sticking to it, they're being ultra-aggressive and we're not making shots. All those things are working together and it equals what you see you tonight."
When this series finishes up, and assuming that Memphis can take care of business, the defining point of this series can be pinned down as the third quarter in Monday's game. Down 50-48 at the half, the Grizzlies came out and hammered the West's number 1 seed 30-15.
"It was an incredible performance in the third and fourth quarter," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said . "We outscored them 30-15 and from the second quarter on, our defense just kept getting better and better."
This series by the Spurs has been very baffling for fans and players alike. After winning 61 games in the regular season and securing the number 1 seed, San Antonio picked a horrible time to lose it's focus. The major problem for the team has been consistency and slow starts. Up until game 4, the Spurs never held a lead at halftime and the one time they do, they fail to capitalize on it, playing perhaps their worst half of the season.
Like I said, frustrating.
"Obviously, the whole team is very frustrated," Spurs guard Tony Parker said. "I mean we go through a whole season and get that first seed, and now we're just one game away to be eliminated so it's most important for us to focus on Game 5. That's the most important thing to get Game 5 and try to get another chance to get a win here."
Up 3-1, Memphis obviously has to be feeling pretty good about itself. They won their first postseason game in franchise history in game 1, snapping an 0-12 run of playoff futility, and are on the verge of one of the greatest upsets in basketball history. But if any team can snap back from a big deficit, it the San Antonio Spurs. This veteran laden squad has all the tools to rattle off 3 straight games, so the Grizzlies better not punch that round two ticket yet.
"They are very capable of winning three straight in a playoff series. All we've done is held homecourt. Now, these guys should expect the toughest game of their career, come Wednesday," Battier said.
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