Will Leonard lead Spurs past Grizzlies again?
San Antonio’s best player took home some nice hardware yesterday, but the whole team has designs on an even bigger prize come the end of June.
The Spurs’ pursuit of a sixth NBA title continues tonight, when Memphis enters the AT&T Center for Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals. Handicappers anticipate a second straight rout in the series. Online sports book Bovada.lv lists Gregg Popovich’s squad as an 18-point favorite, with an over/under total of 188 points.
While Kawhi Leonard was just recognized as the league’s top defender, he led the offensive charge in Sunday’s 106-74 trouncing of the seventh-seeded Grizzlies. The San Diego State product poured in a game-high 20 points and, naturally, found time to force four steals. Leonard even blocked three shots en route to holding Matt Barnes to a .143 percentage from the floor.
It all added up to Memphis’ sixth consecutive loss at the hands of San Antonio. To make matters worse, two reserves – Vince Carter and Lance Stephenson – were the only Grizzlies to crack double figures. If the visitors cannot devise a way to generate decent production in the paint, they’ll undoubtedly trudge back to Beale Street in a world of pain.
LaMarcus Aldridge aims to ensure precisely that sense of hopelessness. The power forward made eight buckets in his first postseason contest as a Spur. He also received the entire fourth quarter off to nurse a sore pinkie finger. All appendages should feel fine at the conclusion of this evening, though, as San Antonio stands to flex its championship chops again.
TUESDAY NBA FREE PICK: GRIZZLIES +18