Kawhi Leonard may get the press, but two North Carolina Tar Heels alums have been shadowing each other so far in the Grizzlies-Spurs series.
The North Carolina Tar Heels have nine players in the NBA Playoffs, but it harder to think of two more important to their respective teams than Vince Carter of the Memphis Grizzlies and Danny Green of the San Antonio Spurs. It is the Spurs that have struck early with the 2-0 lead in the home stand.
Green was not much involved in Game 1’s scoring with only two points. Part of that had to do with the Spurs having an abundance of weapons and the Grizzlies being one of the better teams in the NBA at guarding the perimeter where Green lives. His gift to Game 1’s runaway victory was defensive with four blocks to his credit.
Game 2 was a lower scoring affair, but Green’s shot arrived to meet the challenge. Green made four of his five three point attempts to get twelve points on the night total. The Spurs were able to win another double digit victory of the Grizzlies with different members of their supporting cast coming through, like Green and Pau Gasol.
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Carter has also had an up and down series despite being on the losing side of both games. He has been in the starting lineup of both games. Like Green, he had a quiet Game 1. He hit only 2 of 6 shots and none of those were beyond the three point arc.
That set Carter up to have a better Game 2, and like Green he did. In fact Carter’s twelve points effectively negated Green’s contribution in the game. He logged thirty-three minutes and made two of five from the three point line for a nice 40%.
It is Carter who gets the advantage of home court next game as the series continues. He and Brandan Wright will be responsible for digging the Grizzlies out of their hole. Green will be looking to put a quick end to the series and prepare for the next round.