Grizzlies-Spurs Preview


Game 1: Saturday, 7 p.m., AT&T Center, ESPN
Game 2: Monday, 8:30 p.m., AT&T Center, TNT
Game 3: Thursday, 8:30 p.m., FedEx Forum, TNT
Game 4: Saturday, April 22, 7 p.m., FedEx Forum, ESPN
Game 5: Tuesday, April 25 (time TBD), AT&T Center
Game 6: Thursday, April 27 (time TBD), FedEx Forum
Game 7: Saturday, April 29 (time TBD), AT&T Center

The San Antonio Spurs will be taking on a familiar foe again in the postseason, the Memphis Grizzlies. After getting swept last season against the Spurs due to crucial injuries to Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, the Grizzlies are now ready for the rematch.

The Grit N’ Grind comes into the series with a 43-39 record. But this season was not about how well or bad they have played, it was about injuries.

Chandler Parsons signed a 4 year/$94 million in the offseason and has since not been able to fulfill his potential due to knee injuries. With Parsons being out, and most recently Tony Allen due to a calf strain, the wing defending will now be a huge headache for the Grizzlies.

Without wing defending, the Grizzlies will be left in a jigsaw as to how they would benefit from guarding spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard, who is averaging a career-high 25 points per game and has been leading the Spurs the whole season.

The Spurs finished with 61-21 record, good for second record out west. A familiar face to the Grizzlies, Pau Gasol, will be taking on his brother.

Brotherly Love:

It is no secret that the two Gasol brothers will be going at it tonight. Pau said that it would be “extremely awkward” to face his brother, Marc.

“It is what it is,” Pau said to reporters after Friday’s workout. “At the end of the day the key thing is to keep things in perspective and try to keep emotions out of it and just compete and do whatever it takes to win. That’s what I’ll do, and I’m sure that’s what he’ll do, and we’ll go from there.”

“We might not be as loose as we are during the season with eachother.” Pau said. “We’ll see. We haven’t really talked too much about it.”

Marc, Western Conference all star, is averaging 19 points (career high) and is shooting 84 percent from the line. Per his brother, Marc is the “quarterback” for the Grizzlies.

“He’s an incredible facilitator, playmaker,” Pau said to reporters. “He’s not a guy that feels comfortable taking 20-plus shots, even if he could. He tries to get players involved and make the right play every possession, so you’ve got to put pressure on him, force him into drives, force him into forcing plays and not be comfortable playmaking.”

This will be the matchup to watch for tonight.

Keys to the game for the Grizzlies:

Pound the paint

Slow down Kawhi Leonard

Limit the ball movement from San Antonio

Keys to the game for the Spurs

Grizzlies love to play down low, limit that

Get offensive rebounds and second chance points

Play fast because Memphis loves to slow the game down

About Mohamed Bah

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