If you read my preview of the Spurs-Grizzlies series, then you know that I was expecting Tony Allen to guard Tony Parker in Game 1. I almost spilled my nachos when I saw Mike Conley checking Parker, mano a mano, the entire night.
Lionel Hollins, to the ire of Grizz fans, has a reputation for not making major adjustments in a game or during a series. He's old school in every sense, staying true to his philosophies...good or bad. But I think the adjustment for Game 2 is obvious: put your defensive stopper on the other team's best player.
Despite the presence of Tim Duncan, the Spurs will only go as far as Tony Parker takes them. His aggressiveness getting into the lane is what drives that team. In Game 1, the Grizzlies were admittedly (and obviously) confused with their defensive rotations. They either had two guys closing out on the same shooter or nobody even running out. It was like a shooting in an empty gym for Pop's crew.
Tony Allen is wasted on a guy like Danny Green. 'TA' is a bulldog on defense, his entire identity is slowing down the other team's best perimeter player. If you're not gonna have him check Parker, then you might as well bring him off the bench to guard Manu Ginobili.
I think Tony Allen should guard Parker almost exclusively on Tuesday night, and going forward. Meanwhile, Mike Conley can save his energy on Danny Green. The Spurs shooting guard is unlikely to post-up the smaller Conley, he's far more comfortable floating around on the perimeter. I remember one play on Sunday when Mike switched onto Danny. Parker threw it to Green backdoor but he wanted no part of going inside. The ball bounced straight out of bounds. Conversely, if San Antonio counters by having Parker rest defensively on Allen, 'TA' will probably murder him on the offensive glass: advantage Grizz.
Will the Spurs make 14 threes in a game again in this series? not likely. But they will make a good share if they keep getting great looks off of bad Grizzly rotations.
Having your best defender guard the other team's best offensive player should be a no-brainer. Everyone else can then stay more disciplined on their coverages.
Lionel, one Tony deserves another.