Matchup of the Game: Spurs vs. Grizzlies Game 2


The matchup of the game for Game 2 in the Western Conference Finals will be between Tim Duncan and Zach Randolph.

Duncan had a 6 point, 10 rebound game in Game 1, which wasn't the prettiest offensive numbers for the Spurs' cornerstone. He did make up for it on the defensive end, holding Randolph to 2 points (1-8 shooting). Duncan's commitment to stopping Randolph paid off for the Spurs because of the Grizzlies couldn't get into an offensive rhythm. Memphis had to rely on different offensive pieces for the top options, something they weren't used to with Z-Bo on the floor for them. With Duncan towards the end of his career, his offensive numbers weren't that important as he's willing and able to be the fifth option if necessary without the Spurs losing any rhythm.

What Duncan must do on offense:

He has to make his jumpers to keep the Grizzlies on their unbalanced on the defensive end. Duncan shot 3-9 FG in Game 1 and would've made Memphis' job more difficult if those jumpers would have gone in. If Duncan can expand his game to mid-range, that would force a Memphis big to come out to guard him and open up pick and rolls (or pops for Matt Bonner) in the paint. It wouldn't be wise for Duncan to try to post up since Randolph is a physical player and Marc Gasol is ready to help him out. Duncan must keep active and in motion to force whoever is guarding him to be chasing him or the ball, leaving one of those two open.

What Duncan must do on defense:

He has to keep fresh feet to guard Randolph. Duncan's foot speed and wingspan gave Randolph trouble in Game 1 and that's not likely to change in Game 2 if Duncan commits to the defensive end. Marc Gasol isn't known as a post up threat, especially against Tiago Splitter. Randolph will still be depended upon to create his offense for Memphis and to set the tone for the team. If Duncan can continually shut down Randolph and frustrate him, this will put more pressure on Memphis' perimeter game and that's not something they are known for. The Spurs are unlikely to see a 1-8 FG shooting night from Randolph again, but they'll need to have him take the majority of attempts and shoot a low percentage to see a win tonight.