San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies (SAS leads 2-0)
It seems like it has been a long time since the Spurs and Grizzlies got together to play a basketball game. You know in this Conference Finals series that will determine who goes to the NBA Finals. Three days off is too much to wait.
Especially with how the Grizzlies have had to stew over a blowout loss in Game One and then a come-from-behind overtime loss in Game Two. Memphis wanted the split before coming home where this series should get even more interesting.
The Grizzlies have yet to lose at home this postseason and have been historically difficult to defeat at FedExForum. Memphis went 32-9 at home and consistently have a racous crowd over at the "Grind House" for Playoff games. San Antonio could take a firm control of this series if they can break that code.
Easier said than done. This is the location where Memphis started a comeback against Los Angeles to win in the first round. This is the location where the Thunder went to see their Western Conference defense end. Memphis left with a 3-1 lead. Now the Grizzlies hope to even this series up and repeat some recent history.
It will be extremely difficult to do that again with San Antonio as the opponent.
The Spurs got some consistently dominant play from Tony Parker in Games One and Two as they built their large leads over the Grizzlies. Memphis should know it cannot fall behind by 15-plus points, even at home, to get these two must-win games. San Antonio also is likely aware of the difficult task ahead in getting a win on the road.
Heading back to San Antonio tied at two should not be an option for the Spurs. The ghosts of last year would begin circling then.
Put that together, with some time to stew, and you have a game that should be very important for both teams.
–George Hill was a former Spur and someone that was groomed to be Tony Parker's backup and much, much more. Then the opportunity to draft Kawhi Leonard came and Hill was sent to Indiana. Hill still made it to the conference finals and Parker is still in touch with the Pacers' point guard. Maybe the two will meet again in the Finals.
–Lionel Hollins is not the person you would expect to take a stand on flopping after his guard Tony Allen fell to floor clutching his head after a hard foul on his arm. But there was Lionel Hollins agreeing with the flopping rules and saying there is no place in the league for flopping. Somehow, he may not disagree with Allen milking it for a call that helps him.
Celtics stick behind Terrence Williams
The Celtics are sticking behind guard Terrence Williams and see him as part of their future, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com reports. Williams was arrested earlier this month for brandishing a gun. He claims that he was doing it to protect himself and his daughter. Guns are a thorny issue in the league — and really everywhere right now — and so the truth is for the legal system right now. Boston though still believes Williams can be a part of the team's future and he is not going anywhere for the moment.
Decision in Ujiri's hands
In the search for Bryan Colangelo's replacement in Toronto after Colangelo's promotion(?), the decision is firmly in Masai Ujiri's hands now. The Raptors have gone hard after the Nuggets' general manager, a year after he won the NBA's Executive of the Year Award, and he has taken his time in the hand-wringing. A decision is expected soon from him. But after Toronto failed to land Phil Jackson, there appears to be no plan should Ujiri decide to stay in Denver.--->
NBA is reviewing Dwyane Wade elbow
In the middle of the third quarter of Game Two on Friday night, Dwyane Wade ran into Lance Stephenson and appeared to throw an elbow. No call, of course. The Pacers ended up winning anyway and they would have little complaint. Of course, the NBA is now looking into the call and may take some action against Wade. Miami will be waiting with baited breath. . . or not.--->
D'Antoni off U.S. staff
Like Nate McMillan, Mike D'Antoni will also not be returning to Mike Krzyzewski's U.S. Olympic staff. The New York Post first reported Team U.S.'s resident pick-and-roll expert would not be back with the team. After Coach K suddenly turned around and decided to coach the 2016 team and participate in the next Olympic cycle, it seems there will be some new blood not only on the roster but also on the bench.--->
Jennings supports Kelvin Sampson for Bucks job
Brandon Jennings is a restricted free agent this summer. But if he returns to Milwaukee, he has a favorite for the team's new coach. K.L. Chouinad of Behind the Buck Pass reports Jennings supports Milwaukee going after Houston assistant coach Kelvin Sampson. Sampson's name has been bandied about plenty for several head coaching jobs and the former Indiana University head coach seems poised to get a lead chair in the NBA pretty soon. Now whether Jennings is still in Milwaukee should he take that job seems pretty likely, but is still a bit uncertain.