Apr 12, 2012; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (left) and Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (right) share a laugh before the game at the AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-US PRESSWIRE
Game Two of the Western Conference Finals is in the books, and, after a few stretches of complete, utter brilliance from the San Antonio Spurs -- the first half of the third quarter was especially mind-numbing for their easygoing destruction of the Oklahoma City Thunder -- the series stands at 2-0, Spurs.
Tony Parker was out of his mind, Manu Ginobili daggered all over the fourth quarter, and San Antonio's depth was equally productive and close to perfect in doing exactly what they are expected to do. Crazy thing is, the Thunder didn't even play bad, at all. Oklahoma City never completely lost their cool in the face of an avalanche, and thanks to the otherworldly skills of James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, hung around this game when it felt for the most part like the Spurs should have been winning by about 47 from the second quarter onward.
That San Antonio feels to be operating at that higher of a frequency speaks to A) How good a team must be to deal with the Thunder and B) How freaking bonkers the Spurs looked for portions of Game Two.
The Memphis Grizzlies would have faced the Spurs in the Semifinals, and the Thunder here in the Conference Finals. The first two games of this series begs the question: The way the Thunder and Spurs are playing right now, making the rest of the postseason -- save for the Miami Heat -- seem like a shitty opening band before the headliner, would the Grizzlies have had any fun facing either of these teams later in the postseason? Who, of the two Western foes, would they have fared better against had they won that Game Seven over the Los Angeles Clippers and advanced?
Of course, San Antonio would have gotten the Grizzlies' first crack, but since we can only dream at this point anyway, who, if either, would you have felt more confident in seeing Memphis go to battle against? The way the Spurs and Thunder are going, it's hard not to think "less terrified" rather than "more confident" sometimes, but hey, it's not our problem this year, is it?
Anyway, Thunder or Spurs; who would the Grizz have had a better shot at grinding grittily? The comments await your response.