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2013 NBA Playoffs: Western Conference Preview

The Western Conference Finals start today at 3:30 EST between the Memphis Grizzlies and the San Antonio Spurs. Both teams have earned the right to make it this far.

Now which team will represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals? Will it be the veteran, battle tested Spurs? Or will the tough, up and coming Grizzlies earn their first trip in franchise history to the NBA Finals?

The Spurs are tested and seasoned veterans. They have four championship banners to prove it. They have been here before and know it is not the destination. They see this as getting one step closer to where they need to be.

Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are both 37 and 35 respectfully but they have played like they’re 10 years younger in these playoffs. They both look to be getting better with age. Lets not leave out Tony Parker who at 31 isn’t exactly in his prime, but his performance in these playoffs would not tell the story.

The Spurs “Big Three” seem to be on a mission this season. Win an NBA title.

While Tony Parker will have his hands full with guarding Grizzlies’ star Mike Conley Jr., the focus will be what goes on in the trenches of the low post. If the Spurs are going to win this series, they will have to win the battle down low.

The Grizzlies have pounded their way to get to this point in the NBA Playoffs. Their physical play was too much for the Los Angeles Clippers and  Oklahoma City Thunder. They have done it on the heels of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Play from their point guard Mike Conley Jr., has helped their cause as well.

The Grizzlies’ “Big Three” is young and tough but will it be enough for them to win?

It should be a good match-up between Tony Parker and Mike Conley Jr. However, it will be interesting to see how Tim Duncan handles the Grizzlies’ two headed monster Randolph-Gasol.

Throughout the 2013 NBA Playoffs, it seems the phrase “point guard league” has been more prevalent than years past. It could be because of the flashy point guard play from up and coming stars like Stephen Curry and Mike Conley Jr. However, in this year’s Western Conference Final between the Spurs and the Grizzlies, the focus will be more on the low post game.

This series is not the Clippers vs Thunder. This is not going to be a high-flying run and gun-offensive series. This Western Conference Finals is going to be a heavyweight boxing match. There will not be much razzle and dazzle, it will just be grind it out physical basketball with a focus on defense and rebounding first, scoring second. It will not be a short series either.

Outcome: Grizzlies in 6. The Spurs have been able to persevere through the fierce shooting backcourt of the Golden State Warriors. However, the Warriors or the Los Angeles Lakers for that matter didn’t have what the Grizzlies have.

The Grizzlies are just simply too much for the Spurs to handle. The Grizzlies have not one, but two physical players in the post in Gasol and Randolph. Duncan will have his hands full dealing with just one of them let alone both. He will probably get into foul trouble early and often trying to hold his ground.

Look for the Grizzlies to force the issue and exploit this match-up. While the Spurs have a deep bench, they will have the same issues Duncan will face. Look for key contributions from Tayshaun Prince and Quincy Pondexter.




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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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