Series Preview: Spurs-Grizzlies Q&A with All Heart in Hoop City


Entering tonight’s Game 1 of the San Antonio Spurs’ first round playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, I wanted to get a deeper look at the team the Spurs were facing. What better way than to talk to someone who covers the team on a daily basis, so I turned to Sharon Brown once again from All Heart in Hoop City to help me break down the series by answering a few of my questions and giving me her prediction.

Make sure to also read Sharon’s series preview roundtable to see my answers to her questions.

1. The Grizzlies have done a great job defensively against the Spurs this season. How does the loss of Tony Allen impact Memphis’ chances of slowing down the Spurs’ offense?

The loss of Tony Allen will impact the Grizzlies on the defensive end. They will have to find other players to fill the void in his absence.

Kawhi Leonard will be problem regardless. A young cub will have a tall task trying to guard him. The next man up has to do their job to the best of their abilities. Wayne Selden, Jr., Andrew Harrison and James Ennis, III will have their hands full for sure. One of the young cubs must shine in this series.

2. In your eyes, what is the Spurs’ biggest weakness that the Grizzlies can try to exploit?

I think the biggest weakness that they may have to rely heavily on Kawhi Leonard on both ends of the court. Leonard is a MVP level candidate that most certainly can change the dynamics of the game but will he be able to do it in this series.

The thing is, the Spurs will have to have others to step up to win this series. If the Grizzlies can prevent others from getting hot, they have a very good chance. Most are picking the Spurs in five, but I truly believe this series will go to 6 or 7.

3. What has to happen for Memphis to get the upset like they did as the eighth seed several years ago?

Plainly, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph have to play out of their minds each and every game in the series for the Grizzlies to have an actual chance of pulling the upset off.

With that being said, there has to be other players on the Grizzlies’ roster to be productive as well. But the main thing is that Memphis’ three big guns must be hot at the same time.

4. Who will Memphis rely on if Pop tries to neutralize Conley by defending him with Kawhi Leonard?

The Grizzlies have to rely on their best player and that is Marc Gasol. When Gasol is aggressive, no one can stop him. He has to put his big boy pants on and be aggressive in this series. He should be averaging 20 to 30 points a game.

Grizzlies fanbase need to see the aggressive Marc Gasol who is known Wendigo to most. Big Spain must play out of his mind regardless if Conley is neutralized or not.

5. What is your prediction for the series?

I say the Grizzlies will win this series. I think they have the goods to beat the Spurs this time around. I just want a competitive series. The Grizzlies should have had a 3-1 lead over the Spurs in the regular season series had not it been for a lapse on defense.

I like to go against popular opinion, no one expects the Grizzlies to win this series, but if they believe they can, they will not go down without a fight.


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