The San Antonio Spurs led from start to finish in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. It was a ten-point lead before Lionel Hollins could stop the bleeding. The final score was 105-83.
San Antonio was moving the ball and getting the calls. They were draining open three-pointers all night, making the Grizzly defense look bad inside and out. Defensively, the Spurs took Memphis out of everything on offense. Their fronting defense in the post and weakside help was particularly impressive.
Zach Randolph was a non-factor on this day, scoring just 2 points. His 7 rebounds looked pretty good by comparison. Mike Conley, too, wasn't his usual self. He was too passive against Tony Parker, driving half-heartedly and looking to dish to guys who weren't even open. Conley had 14 & 8...Parker 20 & 9.
The Spurs also got 18 from Kawhi Leonard and 16 from Danny Green, both guys who scored big to close out the Warriors last week.
The Grizzlies were led by Quincy Pondexter's 17, which isn't a good sign for Grizzlies fans. Marc Gasol had 15, many of which came from long jumpers at the top of the key.
Memphis did cut the lead to 6 late in the 3rd quarter, behind 8 straight points from Pondexter and a bucket from Jerryd Bayless. Hollins went to his bench early in the quarter and it paid off. But it wasn't enough, as the Spurs quickly responded with a Ginobili-Bonner barrage of shots to get the lead back into double digits.
During the 4th quarter, twelve minutes of numbing garbage time, Hollins challenged his team: "This is an opportunity for you and anyone else to show me you deserve to play the rest of this series." I didn't see much response from anyone, so I guess the rotation will stay the same.
Gregg Popovich, meanwhile, keyed on not giving up offensive boards or turning the ball over against Memphis. It worked for his group on Sunday.
Game 2 is Tuesday. History says Lionel Hollins won't change much as far as X's & O's go.
I say Tony Allen needs to guard Tony Parker. That'll save Conley some energy, which he'll need to lead this group to a split on the road.