Little men have dominated the first round of the playoffs, but Memphis seized a 2--1 series lead over top-seeded San Antonio with some good old-fashioned brawn. Marc Gasol, the European center with the American game, overwhelmed the Spurs in the paint in Game 1 with 24 points (on 9-of-10 shooting) and swatted away two shots in the Grizzlies' first playoff victory in 13 attempts. And power forward Zach Randolph, the 29-year-old NBA vagabond, ground out 25 points in Game 3, including a game-clinching three-pointer (yes, a three-pointer) that had the FedEx Forum crowd up and chanting his name. Neither Randolph nor Gasol is especially nimble, but packing 518 pounds between them, they've made the paint a no-drive zone and have formed a human wall in the post against Tim Duncan. As a result San Antonio, which had the league's second-most-efficient offense in the regular season, was shooting just 41.7% in the series. Says Memphis forward Shane Battier, "When you have bigs like this who can get it done, it makes a difference."
DAVID E. KLUTHO
SUPERSIZED Neither Manu Ginóbili (left) nor George Hill (3) had much success driving the lane against Gasol (33), Battier (31) and the rest of the Grizzlies' big men.