NBA Playoffs schedule 2013: Spurs, Grizzlies fight for NBA Finals bid


The Grizzlies and Spurs each know how to do work defensively. Will Memphis fluster San Antonio in Game 1 -- like it did in the 2011 playoffs -- or are the Spurs too sound?

Just four teams remain in the NBA playoffs, with the Western Conference represented by two if its nastiest squads -- the slowpoke grit-and-grinders on the Memphis Grizzlies, and the year-in, year-out successful San Antonio Spurs.

There's only one game on Sunday -- the days of three matchups an evening, with one relegated to NBATV, are over as fewer and fewer teams remain alive -- with the Western Conference Finals getting underway. Here's a quick look at the game:

Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs

3:30 p.m. ET


Nobody's getting easy buckets in this one. The Grizzlies feed off the failure of opposing offenses, most recently limiting the offensive brilliance of Kevin Durant in a five-game win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Spurs never gave the Warriors an easy look, but Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson managed to give their team a pair of wins by spotting up 26 feet from the hoop and drilling insane shots with extreme nonchalance.

It's an underdog story. One team has won four NBA titles. The other has Zach Randolph being round and smirking.

But it's a matchup that favors the Grizzlies. Two years ago, they upset the Spurs, only the second No. 8 seed to knock off a No. 1 seed in a best-of-seven series. It's tough to get a read on the season series -- back then, the Grizzlies had Rudy Gay -- but a hard-hat mindset can do damage against Tim Duncan's picture-perfect bank shots and Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili winding into the lane for points.

Now, the two squads square off with a spot in the NBA Finals waiting for the winner. Neither has had to face a complete team yet in the playoffs. The Spurs brushed past a hapless Lakers team in an opening-round sweep, then won despite brilliance from deep by the Warriors. Memphis beat a Clippers team that was somewhat amiss, with Blake Griffin battling some type of injury, then threw everything they had at Durant and got the series win over the Thunder.

The Spurs will have their hands full down low. A once-sloggy squad now looks to win small, with Tim Duncan the primary big man, while the Grizzlies go with Randolph and Marc Gasol, each more than capable of bodying bigger guys and finessing the brains out of smaller defenders. They rebounded more of their misses than all but one team in the league, and San Antonio will have to find ways to earn defensive stops even after the Grizzlies miss their initial shot.

More from SB Nation:

Can Nerlens Noel play in the middle?

Shabazz is the next Harrison Barnes

Questions abound after NBA combine measurements | More combine coverage

The Charlotte Hornets are back

Bradley Beal (sort of) criticizes Derrick Rose

Longform: Basketball and chaos in Europe

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.