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When: Friday, November 22nd, 7:30 PM CST
Where: The Grindhouse!

Photo: Pat Lovell / USA Today Sports

Records: Memphis (7-5), San Antonio (10-1)
Media: ESPN, 92.9 FM, 680 AM
Discuss: 3SOB Twitter/Forum, Grizzlies Message Boards

So let’s see… last time the Grizzlies played the Spurs, I talked about the opportunity presented for Joerger to seize the moment at the helm and jump-start his head coaching career. And we all know how that turned out. So ever superstitious, I’ll present the contrary — riding the high of a previously inconceivable sweep of the four game road trip, this game presents itself with the potential as a total buzzkill. Ever since the Grizzlies shocked the world by defeating the Spurs in the playoffs a few years back, the Spurs have absolutely mopped the floor with them. Maybe at the start there was a hint of revenge motivating them, but at this point they just have the Grizzlies’ number. They pick their poison and pack the paint, daring Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen to beat them from the perimeter. Thus far, the challenge has not been answered, and the first meeting of the Joerger era failed to extend any promise of putting an end to halt the madness.

Expected Starting Lineups:

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Mike Conley vs Tony Parker:
The picture above pretty much addresses this matchup in a nutshell. Tony Parker’s greatest defense on Mike Conley is his tireless mobility through and around screens on the offensive end. I expect the Spurs to continue to exploit this every time these teams square off. Parker is having himself another Tony Parker season, so far, with his numbers falling a slight bit south of last season’s career high marks, but still steady-as-she-goes, boasting a PER of 20.49. But while we’re on the topic, I just want to point out that Conley’s sitting at 23.08 right now.
Advantage: San Antonio

Tony Allen

Tony Allen vs Danny Green:
Supposed to be poised for a breakout season, attributed by a rollover of his virtuoso NBA Finals performance, Green has been a bit of a dud for fantasy basketball players that picked him up as a nightly source of three pointers. His season has been all over the map, as his game log is loudly punctuated by a few amazing nights. He shot a combined 11-16 from the arc on the back to back road trip in the Mid-Atlantic against New York and Philly earlier this month, and followed it up with an 0-fer from the field against the Wizards. Tony Allen has been gambling quite a bit this season, but returning from his suspension, he should have his antennas up and stay locked on Green tonight.
Advantage: Memphis

Rudy Gay

Tayshaun Prince vs Kawhi Leonard:
Talk about the “team hero.” Between taking — or let’s just say “selling” — a key charge call, and draining a couple of desperation late in the shot clock jumpers, Prince really stole the headlines from Wednesday night’s overtime spectacle at Oracle. Kawhi Leonard is one of the more emerging players and is noted for his astonishingly mature defensive game for a player his age, but as crazy as this sounds, Tayshaun could have a big impact in swaying this one. With the Spurs far more focused on the post matchups, it’s up to Prince to prove that if you sleep on him, every now and then he’ll bite ya. Still, I’m not bold enough to give Memphis the advantage here.
Advantage: San Antonio

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph vs Tim Duncan:
I’ve heard quite a bit that 2011 Zbo is not walking through the door any time soon, but if that’s the case, the Zach I’ve watched over the California road trip sure is a damn good clone. He comes into this one rocking five straight double-doubles, and went for 20+ and 10+ in all for games on the road trip. He’s going to have a hyped Grindhouse behind him, especially if he can get things going early. Getting things going is the furthest thing from a given, however, against this San Antonio Spurs team, that loves to throw a myriad of defenders at him, trap him into taking ugly shots, and fails to oblige him in a wrestling match in the post. Tim Duncan is not playing the best offense of his career right now, shooting just 39% from the floor, but it’s very early in the year and if anybody has been a model of consistent, efficient basketball, it’s this guy.
Advantage: San Antonio

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol vs Tiago Splitter:
Splitter signed for big money in the offseason, and for the most part is holding up as the player that he has proven to be thus far. Marc showed us shades of his DPOY ability in Golden State, albeit against a Warriors team that was on the court without a quarterback. After flirting with three straight double-doubles, he answered with a more traditional, but still robust big man line of 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks on Wednesday, and his ability to take some of the defensive pressure off of Zach Randolph will be in integral component of tonight’s outcome.
Advantage: Memphis

Benches:

The Grizzlies’ bench has generated far more buzz over the offseason than the mainly static starting lineup, receiving a facelift from all degrees of player movement. Coach Joerger spent the first handful of games trotting out seemingly every possible permutation of a lineup to try and figure out what he’s working with, but since has settled into a more stable rotation consisting of Miller at either wing spot — and sometimes at the four, Bayless at the point, an occasional sprinkle of Pondexter, and of course, the recently dynamic Koufos. The Spurs use of the bench, and whole roster for that matter, however, appears to be somewhat of a blueprint for the type of ship that the Grizzlies front office intends to run and until the Grizzlies show that they can sustain this level of productivity, the advantage lies with the bad guys.
Advantage: San Antonio

More on the Opponent:
Assessing the Enemy
48 Minutes of Hell

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One Response to Memphis vs San Antonio – 11/22/13

  1. CounteNo Gravatar says:

    I can only hope that the Grizz double TP and make Manu and TD beat them for 40 min. Take Tony out the game and make the old guys prove they still got it for 40 min of grueling bball. Then on offense, play thru Marc more than ZBo this game. Let’s see if that throws em off just a little bit. Gotta change it up sometimes.

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