Gameday Preview: Spurs vs. Grizzlies

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (48-10) vs. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (33-27)

TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 17.9 Tim Duncan 9.2 Tony Parker 6.7
GRIZZLIES Zach Randolph 20.1 Zach Randolph 13.1 Mike Conley 6.6

Memphis_Grizzlies_logoThe San Antonio Spurs looks for a franchise record 21 straight home win tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies at the AT&T Center. The Spurs (48-10) are coming off a 106-96 victory over the New Jersey Nets last Friday.

Manu Ginobili had 26 points and George Hill pumped in 19 points off the bench in the team’s latest win. San Antonio’s 20th consecutive win at the AT&T Center tied their best home win streak established by the 1989-1990 team.

The Grizzlies (33-27) are again without Rudy Gay, who will miss at least another three weeks due to a dislocated shoulder, and his absence made the team acquire Shane Battier from Houston at the trade deadline.

Battier played on Saturday against the Sacramento Kings and scored three points, but it was Memphis’ big men who sealed the win. Zach Randolph had 23 points, Marc Gasol had 21 and seldom used Hamed Haddad had his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a 120-92 rout. The Grizzlies are averaging a league-best 50.3 points in the paint and scored 78 inside points against the Kings.

Combined with Utah’s loss, Memphis moved into the Western Conference’s No. 8 slot, potentially setting up a first-round matchup with the Spurs. 

San Antonio won their first meeting against the Grizzlies this season 112-106 in overtime.

Hit the jump for the keys of the game and find out which team will win this matchup.

KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — The Spurs should have enough firepower against the Grizzlies. Entering this game, five Spurs players are averaging in double figures. However, their bench might be short-handed for tonight’s matchup with Gary Neal probably out with a concussion.

Defense – The bulk of Grizzlies’ offense comes from their inside game, it will be key for the Spurs to contain Randolph and Marc Gasol in the paint and limit O.J. Mayo and Mike Conley on the offensive end. Controlling the boards will also be important for the Spurs.

GRIZZLIES:

Offense — Even without Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies have enough firepower, Mayo has been playing well against the Spurs, and Randolph and Gasol has been dominating in the paint lately.

Defense — Contain Tim Duncan and DeJuan Blair inside the paint, cover the Spurs’ perimeter shooters and limit Ginobili, Parker, Hill and Jefferson’s dribble penetrations.

INJURIES

Spurs — Tiago Splitter – strained hamstring (day-to-day), Gary Neal – concussion (out)

Grizzlies — Rudy Gay – disloicated shoulder (out)


PREDICTION:
Both teams are on a two game winning streak, the Grizzlies are coming off an impressive win over the Sacramento Kings while the Spurs have been dominant at the AT&T Center this season with a 27-2 record.

The Spurs should have enough rest against the Grizzlies who will play their second night of back-to-backs. With the way things are going, this game should be a close one, but the Spurs will have the advantage playing on their home floor and should win this game 107-99.    


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