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Spurs-Grizzlies tale of the tape: Experience or exuberance

By Berry Tramel Modified: April 28, 2011 at 7:57 pm •  Published: April 28, 2011

The Thunder will play the stately Spurs or the upstart Grizzlies in the Western Conference semifinals. A comparison of the two teams and which would be better for the Thunder:

Building: San Antonio's AT&T Center vs. Memphis' FedEx Forum. Thunder wants AT&T Center. Memphis has been a mausoleum since the Grizzlies moved from Vancouver, but that's exactly why the FedEx Forum would be tougher. San Antonio fans are accustomed to championships; Memphis fans are bubbling with excitement over its first playoff success.

Coach: San Antonio's Gregg Popovich vs. Memphis' Lionel Hollins. Thunder wants Hollins. No offense, but Popovich is an NBA master. Scotty Brooks needs a break after matching wits with George Karl.

Swingman: San Antonio's Manu Ginobili vs. Memphis' Tony Allen: Thunder wants Allen. The ex-OSU Cowboy, a defensive whiz, will be a thorn in the flesh to both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. But Ginobili is a playoff wizard, always capable of hitting the clutch shot.

Power forward: San Antonio's Tim Duncan vs. Memphis' Zach Randolph. Thunder wants Duncan. The Big Fundamental is a Hall of Famer, but his best days are behind him. Randolph has been a Thunder killer.

Point guard: San Antonio's Tony Parker vs. Memphis' Mike Conley. Thunder wants Conley. Conley is a good defender and an underrated floor general. Parker's not the player he used to be, but he's still savvy and skilled.

Unheralded starter San Antonio's Richard Jefferson vs. Memphis' Sam Young. Thunder wants Jefferson. Jefferson has the bigger name and still has some skills; he averaged 11 points a game and shot 44 percent from 3-point range. But Jefferson has averaged just 7.8 points a game in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Young is exactly that. Young and athletic. He's shooting almost 50 percent from the field against the Spurs.

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