The San Antonio Spurs endured a lackluster first quarter and then turned up the defensive volume to a Spinal Tap-style 11 to trounce Mike Conley and the Grizzlies in Game 1, 111-82. Grizzlies coach David Fizdale said “it got ugly quick. They really got after us.” Conley, the Grizzlies point guard (and heart and soul), was Exhibit A. Conley was held to 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting as the Spurs rotated four players to defend him in stints: Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Patty Mills and– primarily — Danny Green.
Green, known to casual fans as a shooter, is also what announcer Hubie Brown called: “one of the most underrated defenders [in the NBA].” Green scored just two points in Game 1, but he blocked four shots and had a steal. He seemed to be everywhere, almost conjoined with Conley in the second and third quarters. The Spurs have an almost cruel advantage on defense: when they took Green off Conley they put Leonard on him. Leonard is an NBA First Team All-Defense team guy. Leonard also dropped 32 points on the Grizz. The Grizzlies really missed their own superstar defender in Tony Allen, out indefinitely with a calf injury. The Spurs recorded 11 blocked shots in total. Game 2 is April 17 at 9:30 ET. (TNT)