SPURS AT GRIZZLIES, 9 P.M. ET

TV: ABC

  • Even though San Antonio is off to a 2-0 start in their Western Conference finals matchup against Memphis, coach Gregg Popovich said there is still room for improvement. And that’s what the Spurs have been working on during the three-day break in the series, although he wasn’t specific on what that was. “Just basketball,” Popovich said. “It’s a game of mistakes and there’s always areas you can improve. It doesn’t matter if you win a game or lose a game, there’s always things you can improve.”
  • In those two wins, the Spurs have managed to jump out to early big leads against the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies managed to rally late in both games, but were unable to get over the top. “It’s always a little bit of everything,” Popovich said about his team’s fast starts. “Sometimes it’s your worst nightmare.” Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said the reason for his team’s slow starts have stemmed from walking the ball up the court and not pressuring the Spurs offensively. Contrary to perception, Hollins has been pleading with his team all season long to play at a faster pace. “We’ve got to get out of the gate,” he said. “We’ve been in a lot of games where we’ve been down 10-12 points early and by the end of the quarter we’re down four or five or tied. Sometimes it takes us into the second quarter. But San Antonio is too good of a team to get off to a slow start. It’s such a huge hole to get out of every game.
  • The pregame interview room for Popovich was located next to the Grizzlies weight room, where rap music was blaring the background, much to Popovich’s chagrin. “That’s one of the things that helps you retire,” he said. “You start thinking about there is a life out there. If you can’t dance to it, it’s no good. That’s what I always say.”
  • The Grizzlies adjustments for their first game back at FedExForum are simple – just play better. “I thought in the second half, especially towards the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter, we played much better. We just have to go back to being us.”
  • Hollins said forward Donte Greene, who was signed as a free agent on April 17 but has yet to dress for the Grizzlies, will be active for tonight’s game. Going on the inactive list in his place will be forward Austin Daye. Whether or not Greene makes his Grizzlies’ debut in a game tonight remains to be seen.
  • Grizzlies guard Tony Allen was fined $5,000 today for his violated the NBA’s flopping rule in Game 2. Hollins said he had no problem with the league’s decision. “Flopping is not allowed and he flopped and he got fined,” Hollins said. “I don’t think it had anything to do with the call, but that’s the rule.”

– By Marlon W. Morgan

 

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