The Memphis Grizzlies just completed their first ever Game 1 in a Conference Final but they’re likely glad it’s over. Like a hazing ritual, the San Antonio Spurs beatup, beat down and destroyed the Grizzlies to take a 1-0 series lead in a Conference Finals showdown that could be over quicker than we thought.
Memphis is a cute story, but they were not the better basketball team on the court Sunday against the Spurs. The Grizzlies didn’t shoot that bad from the field but they just didn’t shoot well enough. Shooting over 40 percent sometimes gets the job done except when your opponent shoots over 50 percent. That was the case on Sunday as the Spurs were unstoppable from the field and simply out shot the Grizzlies in Game 1.
Quincy Pondexter gave the Grizzlies a boost off the bench and both Marc Gasol and Mike Conley came to ball on Sunday but the lack of production out of Zach Randolph didn’t do Memphis any favors, especially with four Spurs players going well into double-digit scoring totals on the afternoon.
San Antonio got razzed a bit by the Golden State Warriors but they made a statement on Sunday afternoon that another young team would not come along and do the same thing to them. The irony in that is San Antonio beat up the Grizzlies with young stars like Kawhi Leonard and Matt Bonner who both finished with double digit scoring totals.
Memphis may have gotten bloodied and embarrassed in Game 1 but it’s premature to say the Spurs are dragging them behind the shed. While the Oklahoma City Thunder were weakened without Russell Westbrook, the Grizzlies still dominated a great team when they beat the Thunder and all it will take is figuring out how to slow the Spurs offensive production and shake their scoring streak.
The series is far from over but there is work to be done for the Grizzlies if they want to avoid the entire series being defined by this initial blowout to kick things off.