A lot of fans and NBA betting players though that San Antonio’s 61-win season was a fluke, and there has even been talk of Memphis tanking their final two games of the regular season in order to play the top-seeded Spurs, instead of the two defending champions from Los Angeles. But did anyone see the Spurs going down three games to one against the Grizzlies and furthermore, did anyone see the way Memphis manhandled San Antonio in Game 4? We don’t think so.
If the Spurs’ dynasty is over, then we can say that Game 4’s 104-86 loss was the nail in the coffin as the Grizzlies outhustled, outrebounded and outdefended the Spurs, things that have been a staple of this San Antonio team and a major reason they’ve been a favorite among those who are gambling on line. Tim Duncan turned 35 years old on Monday, but he looked about 135 as Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph had their way in the paint, combining for 18 boards. Mike Conley has outplayed Tony Parker at the point (although Parker did have 23 points in Game 4 and was more aggressive than usual), while Tony Allen has done a great job of making Manu Ginobili, who is still suffering from an ailing elbow, into taking tough shots. The most important stat of Game 4 is that the Spurs had 17 turnovers while Memphis had only eight, and the Grizzlies had a 20-6 edge in points off turnovers as they fueled their offense through their defense (another staple of the San Antonio dynasty).
All is not lost for the Spurs, who have Game 5 at home, and if they can manage to put in a good performance in Game 5, they could get in the Grizzlies’ heads for Game 6 and remember, Memphis is still a very young team. But Game 4 wasn’t encouraging at all for anyone who thinks San Antonio should win in Memphis, and if they even manage to escape this series, how much further will they go? It’s going to be a long week for San Antonio fans.