After closing out the Golden State Warriors in six games, the San Antonio Spurs now advance to face the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference finals—where they have unfinished business, according to Tony Parker.
The All-Star point guard hasn't forgotten about last year's disappointing ending in the conference finals, where the Spurs squandered a 2-0 series lead, losing four straight to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Just because Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Co. have a handful of NBA titles on their resume doesn't mean they're any less hungry to climb the ladder once again.
The French floor general reminded reporters that it's been awhile since the Spurs lifted the Larry O'Brien Trophy, and they're itching to do it again:
When San Antonio blew its commanding 2-0 lead in the 2012 conference finals, it was a sobering summer for Spurs fans, because they didn't know whether this veteran-laden group could make one more deep postseason run.
Well, Spurs Nation got its wish, because Gregg Popovich's crew is back in the final four of the NBA, just four wins away from returning to the biggest stage in the sport.
Directly in San Antonio's path are Lionel Hollins' Grizzlies, who are sure to make it an ugly, physical and intense series.
Memphis held opponents to 89.3 points per game and played at the slowest pace in the NBA. They will bring their gritty style of play to the AT&T Center Sunday when the series kicks off.
Just because the Spurs aren't as slow or contact-oriented doesn't mean they won't be comfortable with the Grizzlies. San Antonio is a terrific half-court club, with the mental strength and physical toughness to hang with a team like Memphis.
Spurs fans can expect Duncan, Parker and the rest of the squad to deliver as much effort as they've ever given. The dispiriting ending to the 2012 playoffs still leaves a sour taste in their mouths.
For Duncan, a title would mean a fifth ring and a place as one of the all-time greatest post players.
For Parker, a championship would cement his status as the most successful point guard of this era.
For Ginobili, a ring would further his legacy as one of the best bench players in league history.
Lastly, a championship for Popovich would give him the third-most coaching titles of all time.
I'd say there's plenty to play for.
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