Heading into the San Antonio Spurs-Memphis Grizzlies playoff series, one glaring difference between the two teams were the big men of Memphis — Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol — going up against the Spurs’ bigs of Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, and Antonio McDyess.
Game one displayed this lopsided advantage Memphis has over San Antonio and has been an water cooler topic for most Spurs fans.
So what do the Spurs’ Tim Duncan, Antonio McDyess, and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have to say about this?
“Antonio and myself both took the challenge personally,” said Duncan, who, like the rest of the Spurs, had Thursday off before flying to Memphis for Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. Game 3 in FedExForum. “But we’ve got to continue to do that. We know it’s going to be on our shoulders. (The Grizzlies) need big numbers from those guys, so we know they’ll keep attacking.”
“It starts with Zach,” said Duncan, who has been assigned to Gasol while McDyess is trading grabs and shoves with Randolph. “He’s very physical. He’s one of the best offensive rebounders in the game. That’s how he gets his work done. You’ve got to match that first.”
“They just killed us,” McDyess said. “They had manhandled us. They did what they had to do in the first game to win. So we came out with a chip on our shoulders, our minds made up to make it as tough as possible on them.”
“(Gasol) is smart, he’s skilled, but we never expected him to score 24 points in the first game,” Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich said. “This time, I thought Timmy was much more physical (in Game 2), he did his work earlier. He didn’t let Marc get to his spots so easy.”