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Preview: What Memphis has to do to extend its season

May 27, 2013, 3:34 PM EST

San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Three Getty Images

Unfortunately Memphis, we know how this movie is going to end. No team in NBA history has ever come back from 3-0 down in a best-of-seven series and the Grizzlies just do not have the firepower to change that trend.

But that doesn’t mean the season has to end Monday night.

Memphis has taken the last two games to overtime; they are fully capable of a win in this series. Heck, maybe they should already have one. Here are the three things they need to keep their series alive until at least Wednesday night.

1) Slow down Tony Parker (and Tim Duncan, too). A lot easier said than done. But this has been the real issue in the series, the Spurs stars have found ways to score and break down a good defense. For the first two games Tony Parker was coming off the pick and getting into the lane at will. Memphis adjusted and did better with that in Game 3 pressuring Parker, but San Antonio adjusted as well and started having pick-and-pop Tim Duncan rolling hard to the rim. It was unexpected but it continued to give San Antonio what it needed — a guy in the paint making plays. It was key to their comeback

Parker was in attack mode in Game 3’s second half and either got into the lane himself or made the smart pass to the open man. San Antonio had a counter for the Grizzlies big move. Now how does Memphis respond — they need to keep Parker or Duncan from getting the ball into the paint and making plays.

2) Somebody knock down some outside shots. Please. Memphis has shot just 38.4 percent this series and that has a cumulative effect — Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol have less room to operate because defenders pack the paint on them, and Memphis can’t make San Antonio pay a price for leaving guys on the perimeter. Quincy Pondexter has had some success and gotten San Antonio’s attention but the Spurs have ignored most of the Grizzlies shooters and instead worked on fronting the post making life difficult.

The Grizzlies have had better success earlier in the clock this series, rather than letting San Antonio set its defense, so picking up the pace would be a good start.

But part of this falls to the Memphis big men — they need to establish position, demand the ball then do something with it. It would help if they could get Duncan into foul trouble, also, the Spurs defense isn’t nearly as good when he sits.

3) Stay calm and carry on. You are in a tough spot and you know at some point Monday night the Spurs are going to make a run. Get a big lead and they will walk you down, as they did in Game 3. You have to keep playing and executing your plan — don’t try to do too much. And don’t accept what is coming as inevitable. Even if we all think it is. You need to play desperate yet not be rattled.

  1. bengzki - May 27, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    This is where they miss Rudy Gay the most.

    Yeah they are a much improved defensive team but the problem with this is if they matched up against another defensive team, it will all boil down to who has a more offensive threat or firepower and we all know San Antonio will be a winner with that aspect.

    We all know defense wins championships, but let’s not forget that teams also need offense to win games.

    • Kurt Helin - May 29, 2013 at 3:34 PM

      Actually, their offense has been the much more improved after the Gay trade. The plays stopped running through his inefficient jumpers and went to Gasol and Randolph instead.

  2. Great Caesar's Ghost - May 27, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    Looks like it’ll be another Spurs championship….no way either team from the East beats them. #5rings #championshipexperience #undefeatedinfinals

  3. ragingmouse - May 28, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    “Poise counts “…

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