It took me a full day to get around to processing much of what happened on Friday night against the Bulls. (I was in the middle of a move, which always makes for a long way to spend your Saturday.)
Again, we competed against the best team in the NBA, which is an instant plus. We took them down to the final minute of the game and really should have been able to pull this one out. Kyle Korver's three in the final minute was... well, we know just how bad our defense is around the arc. To be fair, we did limit the Bulls to just 6-of-17 shooting from the 3-point line, but when it came down to making a much-needed stop, we just weren't able to.
The other concern is our very own 3-point shooting. It's no surprise that we're not a very good 3-point shooting team. The Grizz were 2-of-15 from beyond the arc. Ridiculous. I hate seeing us take more than 7-8 threes per game. Really. We're wasting possession.
Well, it also didn't help that we gave up EXTRA possessions allowing the Bulls to pull in 18 offensive rebounds. Just terrible. The Grizzlies had their chances to pick this one off. I had my moments of true belief, and maybe that was because I watched the 4th quarter first and then went back and watched the first three quarters. (It was a scheduling thing!)
I'm not completely disappointed with the loss -- upset, but not disappointed. As I said on Friday, in this 3-game set (@BOS, @CHI, SAS) if we could take 2-of-3 I'd be more than happy! That, of course, leads us to the Spurs game on Sunday afternoon.
A few things I like. First, we're at home. We know how tough we are to beat at home, and so too do the Spurs (March 1, we beat the Spurs 109-93 at home). Also, you have to like the fact that Tim Duncan is out with an ankle sprain. I like Tiago Splitter and DeJuan Blair, but they absolutely don't scare me like Duncan does -- despite his age.
Tony Allen is going to be key in stopping Manu Ginobili. Not matter the health of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, or whoever else on the Spurs, Ginobili is always the scariest of the bunch. He can take over a game like few other in this league. If the game is within reach and the Spurs are behind 3-5 points in the final 30 seconds of the game, it's far from over. Ginobili can fill it up quickly, which is why Tony Allen and even Shane Battier are going to be key.
I expect this game to be a hard fought one, not like the last time we met. But I am also a little confident in our chances, despite the Spurs resume.
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are once again going to be key. Splitter and Blair work the glass well and we can't afford to give up double-digit offensive rebounds like we did on Friday. Limiting their possessions will be key.
For more, see our friends Pounding The Rock.
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