The San Antonio Spurs ran the NBA for the better part of the season, relinquishing the No. 1 record in the league to the Chicago Bulls only on the final night of the regular season. With 61 wins, San Antonio had its best season since 2006 and its third 60-win season during Tim Duncan's tenure. (The Bulls had five over Michael Jordan's career, and Kobe Bryant has been a part of three.)
The Memphis Grizzlies' standards for success were lower, as the team hadn't made the NBA Playoffs since 2006. By clinching a berth -- even a No. 8 seed -- Memphis met their goals. But pardon the greed, the Grizzlies would love to get their first postseason win ever, and heck, how about the first postseason series win ever? Bears can dream, can't they?
It starts with Game 1 in San Antonio, and oddly enough, it might be Memphis' best chance for a victory, even though its away from home. That's because Manu Ginobili remains doubtful for the game after hyperextending his elbow in the regular season finale. Without Ginobili, the Spurs' offense is missing both a key cog in the regular excellence and the team's shot clock bailout star.
If the Grizzlies do challenge or win, Zach Randolph will almost certainly lead the way as Memphis' top scorer and rebounder. How he puts pressure on Tim Duncan and Antonio McDyess will figure greatly in the Grizzlies' chances. The game tips at 1 p.m. ET on TNT. Check out our Spurs vs. Grizzlies hub. For Spurs analysis, visit Pounding The Rock. For more on the Grizzlies, visit Straight Outta Vancouver.