Tony Parker (Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons)
A lot of times when people analyze the NHL or NBA, they start with the East. But www.anysportanytime.ca is founded in the West, so I’m going to start with the West!
(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Memphis Grizzlies–
Spurs Top Three–Tony Parker 17.5 PPG, 6.6 APG; Emanuel Ginobili 17. 4 PPG, 4.9 APG; Tim Duncan 13.5 PPG, 8.9 RPG.
Grizzlies Top Three– Zach Randolph 20.1 PPG, 12.2 RPG; Mike Conley 13.7 PPG, 6.5 APG; Marc Gasol 11.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG.
Analysis: The Spurs come into the series as the hands on favourite, having won four NBA titles since 1999. The fact that 2011 is an odd year as well will help San Antonio because their four previous Championships came in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Gregg Popovich is as good of a coach as any in the entire NBA and has maximized the performance out of his players. The question in San Antonio is the health of Manu Ginobili, who injured his elbow in a meaningless game last night in Phoenix and is doubtful for Game One. This will be the fourth playoff appearance in franchise history for Memphis since moving from Vancouver in 2001. They have yet to win a playoff game, going 0-12 in the process. The X factor in the series is Randolph. The tenth year power forward has a criminal past dating back to his days in Portland, but seems to have everything under control now. Still the Spurs have the three best players and will win in six.