Memphis was at another disadvantage after losing Chandler Parsons, who signed a four-year, $94 million deal over the summer, to a season-ending torn meniscus.
Elite Youth Kevin Byard Jersey But the Grizzlies were able to get this far with the roster they have. And while Gasol has been magnificent, at least through one game, Memphis could see a very early playoff exit if his co-stars dont pull their weight.
The Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers played a heck of an opening playoff game for a first-round matchup between the No. 1 and No. 8 seeds.
Many had the Warriors sweeping.
Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum had them reconsidering, at least for a half.
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With virtually no scoring options on the inside for either team, both pushed the tempo as expected. The Blazers watched an unprecedented 48-point first half from their backcourt alone, as McCollum scored at will off the drive as well as back out to the three-point line.
Lillard matched his play, including a prayer from just inside the logo at halfcourt to head to halftime tied. The Aztecs were as aggressive as Air Force and prevented big plays almost as well as Boise State. Thats a devastating combination.
Its even more devastating when you realize that the Aztecs were young. The secondary lost contributors throughout the season and had to rely on youngsters like safety Parker Baldwin and cornerback Ron Smith. The linebacking corps had its own shuffling; six players averaged at least one tackle per game, but only two played in all 14 games. Sophomore Ronley Lakalaka put in major minutes.