Time: Sunday, May 19 at 3:30 P.M. ET
TV Network: ABC
At: AT&T Center, San Antonio
The Western Conference Finals tip-off today in San Antonio. Two gritty teams will take on each other in what is expected to be a pretty ugly series. Game 1 should be very close, as both teams will try to jump out to a quick start.
It took the Spurs a little bit longer to dispose of the ambitious Golden State Warriors, but they will start the series off trying to defend their homecourt advantage. The two teams have recent postseason history. In the 2011 Playoffs, Memphis came through with a first-round upset win, beating the top-seeded San Antonio in 6 games.
Matchup to watch: Mike Conley vs Tony Parker. The two point guards have both done a great job in this postseason and are the catalysts for their respective teams’ success. Parker will find it refreshing to once again attempt to guard a man his own size. Early against the Warriors, it was clear Tony was not capable of chasing Stephen Curry around screens and was often matched up against Harrison Barnes in the post. However, going up against Conley will not be a cakewalk. The Grizzlies’ point guard is one of the best defensive guards in the league and has played tremendously well in the postseason. If Parker does manage to beat Conley off the dribble, he could eventually see Tony Allen on him.
Prediction: So far in this postseason, the Grizzlies have started out slowly in each series, only to become progressively better as they start to get used to their new matchup. I think the Spurs will use this to their advantage and jump out to a 1-0 lead in the series.
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