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NBA Playoffs: Spurs miracle staved off elimination once. Got another?

Apr 29, 2011, 2:55 PM EDT

Memphis Grizzlies v San Antionio Spurs - Game Five Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs are here. Still playing. Manu Ginobili hit a wild shot. Gary Neal hit the thrilling game saver to force overtime. Tony Parker morphed into Tony Parker circa 2005 in the overtime. San Antonio staved off elimination Wednesday in dramatic fashion.

But it did not change the underlying issues in this series. The things that put the Grizzlies up 3-1 in this series are still there heading into Game 6 in Memphis Friday night (Memphis is now up 3-2). So long as the Grizzlies stay true to who they are — as they have through the first five games — it may take another San Antonio miracle to force a Game 7. And it’s hard to survive on miracles.

Memphis still has Zach Randolph and the Spurs still have no good answer for that. Mark Gasol and Mike Conley continue to be rock solid, consistent every game. Memphis continues to defend the corner three well (the Spurs are shooting 2.4 fewer of their bread-and-butter shots per game and are hitting 39 percent, down fro 42 percent in the regular season). The Spurs are shooting just 31 percent from three overall in the series. Memphis continues to own the paint. And the boards.

And now Memphis goes home. With the chance to close out the franchise’s first ever playoff series win in front of their home crown in a legendary upset. They are going to bring it hard.

At this point in a series there are no more surprise coaching adjustments, it’s simply execution. The Spurs are going to need the Manu Ginobili from Game 5 — 33 points on 18 shots — and the Parker from overtime of that game to pull off the win. The Spurs will need Tim Duncan to jump in the hot tub time machine for a night because this older one struggles against the Grizzlies twin big men. San Antonio cannot count on end of game heroics. Not this time.

San Antonio needs to find the Spurs from December, the ones whose offensive execution ripped everyone apart. Otherwise this will be the last stand for the West’s top seed this season.

  1. aboogy123456 - Apr 29, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Is the hot tub time machine a real good movie? I was thinking of watching that on netflix, and now you seem to use it for every reference.

    • denverhoopdreams - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      it was a genuinely good time.

    • steelyres211 - Apr 29, 2011 at 5:56 PM

      It’s alright, nothing more than that.

  2. avermaver - Apr 29, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    If they need another “miracle” to beat this #8 seeded team than they deserve to lose, good riddance

  3. philtration - Apr 29, 2011 at 7:16 PM

    The officiating in the 4th quarter of that last game was really bad.
    It should have never came down to a miracle shot at the buzzer and the Spurs should be on vacation right now.

  4. lakesidelakersfan - Apr 29, 2011 at 8:57 PM

    If the Spurs are down by double digits at the half the’re done. All Memphis has to do is withstand the second half spurt and no cheap fouls and it’s home court advantage for my Lakers the rest of the way. Spurs are old.

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