You have to give the Memphis Grizzlies a lot of credit for pushing this series to 6 games. They played theSan Antonio Spursvery well, even without having one of their best defenders in the game, Tony Allen. The Spurs and the Grizzlies have had many post season bouts, and the outcome this time is the same as usual--Spurs win. With all of that said, the Grizzlies still have a lot to hold up their heads about.
On the other hand, the Spurs make you wonder a bit. With the way the Spurs play during the regular season, and with the way Coach Popovich effectively rests his players throughout the season, you'd expect this team to blowout a team like the Memphis Grizzlies--rookie coach, down a critical man on their roster, along with other factors that aren't as huge.
As the Spurs advance to the second round to play the Houston Rockets, what should we expect?
San Antonio Spurs Vs. Houston Rockets, Round 2 of Western Conference Playoffs
A part of me says this can be a 7 game series, and a small piece of me thinks the Spurs will dominate the Rockets. With that in mind, I'm rolling with this being a 7 game series...
The Spurs aren't the best road team. They have the composure to play at a very high level, but a lot of the times the away crowd seems to take some much needed energy away from the Spurs. The Grizzlies kept games very close in their series against the Spurs due to this fact, but in the end the Spurs proved to be too much in a closeout game.
Then, there's the Rockets. From what I've seen in the post-season so far, they play very well at home and I think this is going to be a huge problem for the Spurs. The only way I really see the Spurs winning an away game against the Rockets is if the Rockets steal a game in San Antonio. At this point, I think desperation will kick in and the Spurs will steal one back, putting the Spurs back in control for a game 7 home game win to advance to the WCF.
On the flip side of this...
Where I do see the Spurs being able to dominate this series is on the defensive end. The Rockets don't have as much offensive fire power as we believe they do. At least I think so. I think the OKC Thunder made the Rockets look much better than they really are. As a result, I think the Spurs just may expose this team.
As good as James Harden is, he just doesn't play on a complete team. He's now playing in the right system that fits him, but he doesn't have all of the right players around him to push against an elite team like the Spurs that's an well-oiled machine.
At this point, it's really too early to say. The Spurs seems to struggle against teams they probably shouldn't--at least on paper. And, the Rockets have a lot of confidence as well as rest after finishing their first round series in 5 games. In the end, I pick the Spurs to advance to play against the Golden State Warriors. Let's face it, the Warriors are getting to the WCF with no problems at all!