San Antonio Spurs vs Memphis Grizzlies Preview

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs Memphis Grizzlies Preview

NBA

San Antonio Spurs vs Memphis Grizzlies Preview

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Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies will be taking on the San Antonio Spurs later today from the AT&T Center where tip-off is scheduled to happen at 8:30pm EST. The Grizzlies have been one of the surprise teams thus far into the NBA season, currently sitting in third place in the loaded Western Conference with a record of 32-17. The Spurs on the other hand find themselves in a complete opposite situation as they are the current twelfth seed in the Western Conference, holding onto a record of 18-30. It has been an interesting few years for this Spurs franchise because for so long they were the ones atop the standings. The Spurs are 9-15 at home this season and have gone 3-7 in their last ten games. On the contrary, the Grizzlies have a strong 15-8 record away from Memphis this season and have gone 7-3 in their last ten games.

This is the Spurs third game in four nights and the second leg of a back-to-back so energy may be limited during this game. This will mark the second matchup of the season between the two teams as Memphis won the first game by a score of 118-105 over San Antonio in Memphis. After this game, these squads will play each other two more times, with each team getting a game on their home floor.

How Memphis can win: One advantage that Memphis will have over the Spurs is rest since Memphis hasn’t played since Sunday and the Spurs will likely be tired. The Grizzlies may be getting Desmond Bane back in this game and if they do it would provide a major boost to their offense. Bane has averaged 17.7 points per game while shooting 42 percent from three. The Grizzlies offense is 4.4 points better per 100 possessions with him on the court. Aside from Bane, guard Ja Morant has been having a stellar year and is squarely in the MVP conversation. He has averaged 25.3 points, six rebounds, and 6.9 assits per game on 48.7 percent shooting.

Interestingly, center Steven Adams may play a pivotal role in the outcome of this game because if he can make sure that Spurs center Jakob Poeltl doesn’t have many chances to attack the glass and get rebounds, the Grizzlies should be in good shape. Poeltl is an underrated player around the league and the veteran Adams may have his hands full with him.

How San Antonio can win: Guard Dejounte Murray has been a bright spot for the Spurs this season, averaging 19.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 9 assisters per game while shooting 45.1 percent from the field. He has been the driving force behind the Spurs offense and has been on an absolute tear since he returned from an injury earlier this month. He set new career highs for points and put up three triple doubles. The Spurs will need him to have another complete game if they are to compete with the high-powered Grizzlies in this one. He missed the first game against Memphis so he will likely want to show that his presence makes a difference in these matchups.

One key for the Spurs will be to protect the interior game because in the first matchup against Memphis, they allowed 72 points in the paint. That is tied for the most San Antonio has allowed this season and it’s likely Memphis will try and attack a similar gameplan. The Spurs defense allows 111.4 points per 100 possessions, which ranks 20th in the NBA this season and they also are one of the worst defensive rebounding teams around the league. If the Spurs want to win this game, they’ll need to step up and win the rebounding battle against this young, energetic Memphis team.

The Spread Via FanDuel:

Moneyline: MEM: (-174) | SA: (+146)

Spread: MEM: -4 (-110) | SA: +4 (-110)

Final Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies 119 San Antonio Spurs 108

– The Grizzlies have all the makings to win this game as they are the more rested team and at least standings wise, are the better team. If Morant can have one of his signature Morant games that we have become accustomed too, I see no reason why Memphis should lose this game. However, Gregg Popovich is still on the sidelines as the Spurs coach, and he always seems to have some tricks up his sleeve. Nonetheless, give me the road team to go and win this one.

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