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Who: Memphis Grizzlies vs San Antonio Spurs
When: Wednesday, January 16th, 7:00 PM CST
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Records: Memphis (24-12), San Antonio (29-11)
Media: SportSouth, 92.9 FM, 680 AM
Discuss at: 3 Shades of BlueGrizzlies Message Board

Memphis Has struggled since their overtime victory over the Spurs. That seems strange since it was only 5 days ago but the Grizzlies have been blown out in two games since and are in danger of falling out of the top 4 in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies struggles have come not only on the offensive side as well. The defense surrendered over 100 points to Dallas and 99 to the Clippers in those two games. The offense was tired in Dallas and just inept against the Clippers as well. Part of the problem with the Clippers may have been the absence of Rudy Gay and Quincy Pondexter but not enough to alter the outcome of the game.

76ersSan Antonio bounced back from their overtime loss in Memphis to handle Minnesota on Sunday 106-88. The Spurs ability to stop losing streaks before they begin is one example of the veteran leadership on this team. The Spurs however are only 3-3 in their last six games and are now facing games without super sub Manu Ginobili. The loss of Manu weakens the bench, one of the strengths of this team. The Spurs will need everyone to step up against the Grizzlies, especially the perimeter players, because the Spurs frontline can’t match the Grizzlies in size or power. Ageless Tim Duncan is still as good as anyone but the rest of the frontline is lacking the height and power needed to compete with the Grizzlies deep front line. Expect Tony Parker and Duncan to lead the offensive attack with Stephen Jackson and Patty Mills adding perimeter shooting power.

Expected Starting Lineups:

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Mike Conley vs Tony Parker:
Mike Conley goes from one extreme to the next. After facing the defensive ferocity of Eric Bledsoe he now faces the offensive speed of Tony Parker. Parker scored 30 in the last meeting but Conley matched his performance with a strong all-around showing of his own. However Conley also turned the ball over 4 times. On the road he must keep his composure, and control of the ball, for the Grizzlies to have any chance in this game.
Advantage: San Antonio

Tony Allen
Tony Allen vs Danny Green:
Tony Allen had a big game on his birthday in Memphis and was one of the only players to give a solid effort against the Clippers.At 31 and playing a heavier load than he has been used, one has to wonder how much longer Allen can keep the effort up. Green is not an elite scorer but he is one that can’t be ignored. Green is hitting 41% of his 3 point attempts this season. Allen’s offense has diminished to lay-ups and dunks and ugly shots otherwise. When he is able to finish at the rim he can become a major boost but when left alone on the perimeter he can’t hit the shot allowing teams to collapse on the interior making it more difficult for the Grizzlies bigs to operate.
Advantage: Memphis

Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay vs Kawhi Leonard:
Rudy Gay is supposed to rejoin the Grizzlies for this game. The funeral of his grand-mother will definitely have an impact on him emotionally. Whether or not it is a deterrent has yet to be seen. He has a strong first half the day after she passed but faded badly in the 2nd half. If Gay can keep his emotions in check for 36 minutes he is clearly the more talented of the two players. Leonard is considered a defensive specialist type of SG. He does hit for a nice percentage from the field (49.3%) and the arc (34.8%) but is not a primary option. Leonard gave Rudy fits last season but wasn’t that effective in the game last week.
Advantage: San Antonio

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph vs Tim Duncan:
*Matchup of the night* - Zach Randolph has been slumping the entire month of January. His free throws are down to 68% for the month. His rebound is down to 8.7 s night and his scoring is down to 14.6 PPG. He is still connecting on a good percentage of his shots but he is struggling to get them now and not converting when he does. Duncan is a future hall of fame player who doesn’t seem to realize this is the end of his career. Duncan struggled against the Grizzlies last week shooting a uncharecteristic 5-14 from the floor but he did grab 15 rebounds. Duncan is the key for the Spurs, especially with Manu out. If Duncan struggles the Spurs will be hard pressed to win despite playing at home. If Duncan is hot Memphis doesn’t have a prayer even if Randolph gets hot. 
Advantage: San Antonio

Marc Gasol

Marc Gasol vs Tiago Splitter:
Marc Gasol, like Zach Randolph, has seen his production plummet in January. He hasn’t scored in double figures since the Spurs game when he shot 4-11. He seems to have lost faith in his shooting. Gasol hasn’t made 5 field goals since the Suns game on January 6th and has only been to the foul line more than 4 times in a game twice in the entire month. In three of the last 6 games Gasol only had 6 rebounds as well. Splitter is fast for a center and very lengthy. He hasn’t developed the strong post game with Duncan manning that role but he is intelligent and makes himself available for easy buckets when Duncan gets doubled down low. Gasol should be well-rested for this game after sitting a lot in the last two blowouts.
Advantage: Memphis

Benches:
Stephen Jackson

San Antonio had one of the best benches in the league prior to Manu’s injury. Stephen Jackson will likely be asked to fill that role now despite his only averaging 19 MPG this season and not really making much of an impact when he is on the court. Gary Neal is still a mad bomber capable of hitting big shots with the best of the league. Paddy Mills can get hot at times as well. Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner and DeJuan Blair make up an undersized but intelligent and hard-working front-court off the bench. Memphis’ bench should benefit from the return of Rudy to the team but will need a big night from their backcourt especially to hang with the Spurs high-octane bench.
 Advantage: San Antonio

Opposing Views:
48 Minutes of Hell

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One Response to Memphis at San Antonio – 1/16/13

  1. GrizzliesDieHardNo Gravatar says:

    Will this be the night Lionel Hollins ends the Jerry Bayless PG experiement and goes to Tony Wroten Jr. What’s troubling about the Bayless experiement is the fact he’s regressing as our backup pg rather than improving. We know Wroten Jr. must improve his shot, but his ability to attack the basket and distribute the basketball would allow Bayless and Ellington to score. I would have no problem surrounding Wroten Jr. with either Ellington, Bayless, or Selby and allowing him to develop as our pg of the future. We had a pg of the future with Vasquez who is now flourishing for the Hornets, let’s not make the same mistake again.

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