The Western Conference Finals has featured plenty of intriguing storylines. Even if the San Antonio Spurs are up 2-0 over the Memphis Grizzlies, this has still been an entertaining series to watch.
After the Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Grizzlies, the expectations were that the Spurs would represent the West in the NBA Finals. It’s certainly looking like that right now, but there are a few other stories that earn some attention through the first two games.
The Struggles of Zach Randolph
After playing quite well during the first two playoff series, the Spurs have certainly frustrated Randolph early on in the series.
Game 1 was not pretty for Randolph, who was one of the top scorers for the team during the regular season. He went only 1-for-8 from the field, scoring only two points in the entire game.
By the time Game 2 came around, Randolph seemed determined to take more shots. He finished the game with 15 points and 18 rebounds, but shot 6-of-18 from the floor and a terrible 3-of-8 from the free throw line.
Through the first two games of this series, Randolph is only shooting 26.9 percent. The frontcourt of Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter has done a great job of containing him, and the Grizzlies have sorely missed his consistent contributions.
Randolph will look to make a bigger impact during the remainder of the series. If he doesn’t turn it around, the Grizzlies will be in big trouble.
Kawhi Leonard the Spurs’ X-Factor
Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili get plenty of attention from opposing teams, but Leonard has stepped up in the playoffs.
Leonard has actually looked better and better as the playoffs go on. His numbers have improved after each series, and now things are looking very impressive through the first two games.
The first game of the series was big for Leonard. He went 7-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-5 from behind the arc, putting up 18 points in the victory. In Game 2, he went 5-of-9 and finished with 12.
Everyone likes to focus on the Spurs’ Big Three, but Leonard has already made a big impact on this series.
Can the Grizzlies Turn it Around at Home?
The Grizzlies were unable to win either game in San Antonio, but it’s a different story for this team when they play at home.
While playing at home, the Grizzlies went 32-9 in the regular season. In the playoffs, they’ve gone 5-0 when in Memphis.
The fans in Memphis are always intense. The motto of “Believe Memphis” has been popular for some time around the city, and fans are hoping that the Grizzlies can win yet again at home.
In the last 20 games between these two teams, the home team has won 17 of them. There seems to be something about these teams playing at home, and that could be a sign of things to come in the next two games in Memphis.