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San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Game 4 Postgame Grades and Analysis

Peter EmerickSenior Writer IIMay 28, 2013

San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Game 4 Postgame Grades and Analysis

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    The San Antonio Spurs are headed to the 2013 NBA Finals, and they have Tony Parker's impressive 37-point performance to thank for that.

    Parker led the Spurs to a 93-86 win, with 37 points on 15-of-21 shooting from the floor, while he also dished out six assists and grabbed four rebounds.

    The Memphis Grizzlies just had no answer for Parker's dominance, especially when you consider that no starter for the Grizzlies shot better than 41.6 percent from the floor.

    Quincy Pondexter was the Grizzlies' go-to player in Game 4, with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor, but unfortunately no one else could get going for Memphis.

    The Grizzlies simply couldn't slow the Spurs offense down, and they couldn't overcome Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter's defensive dominance in the paint—giving up 52 points in the paint to the Spurs, while they scored just 32.

    The better team won this series, but that doesn't mean the future isn't bright in Memphis. The Grizzlies simply have a lot to work on this offseason if they want to become a perennial contender in the Western Conference.

    The Spurs can now rest for 10-plus days as they await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals. Wouldn't it be great to see this veteran Spurs team—the one who kept LeBron James from his first chance at an NBA title—face off against LeBron again?

Point Guards

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    Tony Parker, PG Spurs

    It's off to the NBA Finals for the Spurs, and they have Tony Parker to thank for that. 

    He absolutely dominated the Grizzlies in Game 4, en route to 37 points, six assists and four rebounds.

    Parker had as close to a perfect game as you can have in the NBA, shooting 15-of-21 from the field, 1-of-1 from deep and 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. 

    Throughout the night, and the entire series, Parker seemed a step ahead of anyone the Grizzlies put out there against him.

    It will be interesting to see how either the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat try to cool off Parker in the finals because he's playing at an insanely efficient and productive level. 

    Overall Grade: A+

     

    Mike Conley, PG Grizzlies

    Efficiency wasn't the name of the game for Mike Conley, and that hurt the Grizzlies in this must-win Game 4. 

    He had a well-rounded performance with nine points, seven assists and six rebounds, but that was held back by shooting 4-of-13 from the floor and his three turnovers. 

    Conley just couldn't hang with Parker defensively as well, almost looking like he was more worn out than Parker, who is the older of the two.

    There's no doubt that Conley is a great point guard who has the potential to reach All-Star status, but he's just not ready for the spotlight just yet. Game 4, and this whole series for that matter, showed us that. 

    Overall Grade: C+

Shooting Guards

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    Danny Green, SG Spurs

    After Danny Green had a solid Western Conference Semifinals, he certainly cooled off in the conference finals. 

    He wasn't as integral to the Spurs' success, as he just couldn't find his stroke from long range.

    Green ended Game 4 with five points on 2-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, and three rebounds and two assists.

    Green made up for that though by playing disciplined defense, making life tough for Tony Allen throughout the night.

    Overall Grade: C+

     

    Tony Allen, SG Grizzlies

    There couldn't have a been worse time for Tony Allen not to show up. 

    He had an awful shooting performance, going just 2-of-9 from the floor and failing to get to the line a single time.

    Allen did grab an impressive five offensive boards, but the Grizzlies couldn't benefit from them because they couldn't knock down anything. 

    Defensively speaking, Allen's performance really tailed off in this series, allowing the Spurs to kill the Grizzlies on the perimeter and mid-range.

    Overall Grade: C-

Small Forwards

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    Kawhi Leonard , SF Spurs

    I'm sure if you ask the Grizzles who made their lives miserable defensively in Game 4, Kawhi Leonard's name would be first out of their collective mouth.

    Leonard really put the Grizzlies on lockdown throughout the first half, with an impressive five steals throughout the entire game.

    It wasn't just a solid defensive performance though, as Leonard put up impressive numbers across the board, with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and six rebounds.

    Solid, consistent and efficient production is what the Spurs get from Leonard, and he's helped them immensely en route to their NBA Finals appearance.

    Overall Grade: B+

     

    Tayshaun Prince, SF Grizzlies

    This series has signaled the end of Tayshaun Prince's semi-illustrious career, as he just couldn't get the job done against the younger, more athletic Leonard.

    He couldn't find his stroke from anywhere on the floor, shooting 0-of-2 from the charity stripe and 3-of-8 from the field—ending the night with just eight points.

    Luckily, the Grizzlies realized that his replacement, Quincy Pondexter, could bring much more to the floor, and they limited Prince's minutes to just 17 in Game 4. 

    Defensively speaking, Prince was rather awful, as he really looked slower than everyone out on the floor. It was fun while it lasted for Prince, but it's safe to say that his career is on a rapid decline.

    Overall Grade: C-

Power Forwards

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    Tim Duncan, PF Spurs

    Tim Duncan approached Game 4 like the Spurs were down 0-3 in this series, and that's a major reason why he led the Spurs to the win.

    He played with urgency and intensity on his way to 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, and he was a formidable force on both sides of the ball.

    Duncan frustrated Zach Randolph throughout the night, especially in the first half, and his pressure in the paint was a true difference-maker for the Spurs.

    There's a reason why Duncan is called the Big Fundamental, and we saw why this entire series, as his adherence to the fundamentals of basketball was a major difference-maker in each and every game.

    Overall Grade: B+

     

    Zach Randolph, PF Grizzlies

    There's no question that Zach Randolph just isn't ready for the spotlight yet.

    It looked like he was ready to take over for the Grizzlies, as he did throughout the playoffs, but his production fell way off in the Western Conference Finals. 

    Randolph had an awful shooting night, going just 4-of-13 from the floor and 5-of-8 from the free-throw line.

    While he did end with 13 points and eight rebounds (four offensive), his lack of production in the first half was a major reason why the Grizzlies just couldn't get a grasp on the Spurs.

    Coming off high screens, guarding Tony Parker, Randolph was tripping over his own feet and moving slowly to the basket. It's clear that he has a lot to work on this offseason if he wants to be a true superstar in this league.

    Overall Grade: C

Centers

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    Tiago Splitter, C Spurs

    Once again, Tiago Splitter showed up at just the right time for the Spurs, with a solid nine-point performance.

    In Game 3, Splitter hit the Spurs' first two shots in overtime, and in Game 4 he was a consistent force on both sides of the ball when he was in the game.

    Most impressive though were his four blocked shots and the three assists he dished out.

    Splitter reminded us all why he can be a solid role player for the Spurs, and that's even more impressive when you consider he was putting up his production against the 2013 NBA Defensive Player of the Year in Marc Gasol.

    Overall Grade: B

     

    Marc Gasol, C Grizzlies

    Marc Gasol couldn't have picked a worse game not to show up, as he ended Game 4 with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field, with four turnovers.

    The worst part of Gasol's performance was his inability to stop the Spurs offense in the paint, allowing the Spurs to score 52 of their 93 points there.

    While Gasol dished out five assists and grabbed five rebounds, his play just wasn't productive or consistent enough to help the Grizzlies win.

    We did see a great moment though when Gasol poked Tony Parker in the eye in the fourth quarter, then stayed with him to make sure he was OK. That's sportsmanship at its best, and while some would question the intelligence of that play, it showed Gasol's character, which is much more important.

    Overall Grade: B-

Sixth Men

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    Manu Ginobili, SG Spurs

    Manu Ginobili couldn't find his stroke throughout Game 4, shooting just 1-of-6 from the field and 0-of-3 from beyond the arc. 

    While he made up for that with an impressively balanced performance with six rebounds and six assists, he also committed six awful turnovers that helped the Grizzlies stay in this one.

    Luckily, the Spurs didn't need much production from Ginobili, because Tony Parker was playing like the greatest point guard of all time, with 37 points and six assists. 

    If the Spurs face off against a team like the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, they will absolutely need more production from Ginobili though, so hopefully he takes the 10-plus days off he has to find his stroke again.

    Overall Grade: C-

     

    Quincy Pondexter, SF Grizzlies

    Well, I guess we have our answer as to who's going to replace Tayshaun Prince in the Grizzlies lineup moving forward.

    Quincy Pondexter was really the only Grizzlies player to show up, as he played 34 minutes and dropped an impressive  22 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.

    Pondexter didn't just stop there though, he also grabbed three rebounds and forced two turnovers. 

    It's a shame that the Grizzles coaching staff kept him on the bench for the majority of the first three games of this series. If they had played Pondexter more, the series may not be over just yet.

    Overall Grade: B+

Benches

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    San Antonio Spurs Bench

    The Spurs bench didn't bring much production to the floor for the Spurs, scoring just 16 total points on 6-of-19 shooting from the field.

    While Manu Ginobili committed six turnovers, no other bench player committed a single one.

    What the Spurs bench did well though was keep the team's defensive intensity and efficiency going when the starters went to the bench.

    Overall it was an underwhelming night from their bench, but that's OK when Tony Parker goes off for more than a third of your total points.

    Overall Grade: C+

     

    Memphis Grizzlies Bench

    If you take out Jerryd Bayless' underwhelming 3-of-10 shooting performance, the Grizzlies bench actually had an impressive night.

    Darrell Arthur and Quincy Pondexter combined for 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the floor. The only problem was that Lionel Hollins didn't get Arthur into the game early enough.

    As a unit, the Grizzles bench shot 5-of-10 from beyond the arc, as compared to the starting crew, who shot 0-of-4 from long range.

    The Grizzlies have some talent on their bench, this offseason they just need to figure out how to use it better.

    Overall Grade: B

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