Game: Memphis vs San Antonio
When: 7:00 pm CST
Where: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
Records: Memphis (10-9), San Antonio (12-9)
Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis – Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, Marc Gasol
San Antonio – Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Richard Jefferson, Tim Duncan, DeJaun Blair
Memphis enters this game on a down note. Losers of their last three games including a heart-breaking loss at Phoenix, Memphis finds itself on the outside looking in of the playoff picture.
The Grizzlies return home looking like a very different team than the one that produced seven straight wins after coming from behind to beat Golden State last week. Since then they have failed to score consistently early in games and found themselves fighting big early deficits. Memphis has played 7 of their last 8 games on the road and are hoping for a lively home crowd to bring back the type of play that produced big early leads during the winning streak. With Denver in town Tuesday night and rumors circling that Zach Randolph may be lost for the season, the Grizzlies need a win in the worst way right now.
Memphis will need a big game from point guard Mike Conley who has averaged over 16 points an 8 assists in Grizzlies wins but only 9 points and 7 assists in defeats. Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol and O J Mayo have provided consistent scoring for the Grizzlies of late but Marreese Speights will need to have a strong effort, especially on the glass for the Grizzlies to get back to their winning ways.
San Antonio comes to town after a disappointing loss at Dallas in Overtime Sunday night. The Spurs were out of the game and benched their starter heading into the 4th quarter but their bench came alive to bring the Spurs back and to nearly win the game in regulation but Danny Green’s buzzer beater was ruled a tenth of a second too late. In overtime the surprising play of the Spurs bench just wasn’t enough to pull out the win.
The only bright spot from the defeat was the rest the starters received. No one on the Spurs roster played 30 minutes in the game so fatigue should not be a factor for the aging Spurs. San Antonio is without Manu Ginobili but is led by perennial all-stars Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. Youth is finding a way into the rotation however with Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal and Danny Green all being counted on in big ways.
Prediction: Memphis in a close game.