He’s the most consistent opponent, he’s always ready to compete, he never backs down and he always wins…Always. I’m talking about Father Time, and right now, he’s one game away from eliminating the San Antonio Spurs from the 2011 NBA Playoffs.
The San Antonio Spurs finished the regular season at 61-21 as the best team record in the entire NBA. Despite this, the Memphis Grizzlies looked forward to facing the Spurs in the first round of the Western Conference Finals. It seems the Grizzlies knew they had a secret weapon on their side, that is Father Time.
The Spurs are old, plain and simple. They aren’t as athletic as they once were and they don’t play the defence that used to be able to stifle teams. Combine the fact that the Grizzlies with their style of play and their talented front court and athletic backcourt, pose a poor matchup for the Spurs, and now you have a situation where the number 1 seed in the NBA is on the verge of a first round elimination.
If the Spurs are eliminated, it will mark only the second time since the first round went to the 7-game series format that an 8th seed has knocked off the number one seed. It will also officially mark the end of an era for the four time world champion Spurs. It may also mark the official decline of dominance of 35 year-old Tim Duncan.
The Spurs haven’t won a championship since 2007, but worse yet, they haven’t looked like a contender since then either.
The Grizzlies haven’t looked particularly amazing, they’ve looked like the same team we saw all year that won just 46 games. But with the addition of Father Time to this series, the Spurs have looked outmatched. Tim Duncan who is regarded as the greatest power forward of all time is making Big Z Randolph look like he’s top five dead or alive.
Don’t expect the Spurs to go down without a fight. The Grizzlies look poised to pull off the upset and Father Time, well, he’s undefeated. That said, closing out a champion is supposed to be a tall order. The Vancouver Canucks are learning that lesson the hard way.