The Grizzlies played last night -- beating the Pistons -- starters and all, with the exception of Tony Allen who was resting his sore right groan. The Spurs, on the other hand, "played" Thursday against the Heat without any of their starters. Oh, great.
So, here we sit, with a rested Spurs team, who sit just half-a-game behind us, two in the loss column, and play about just as well as any team at home.
What we know about the Spurs...
-They are a well-coached team. There's no doubt about it, which is why I didn't once question Coach Popvich's decision to rest his starters against the Heat. You can't second-guess him. So, there won't be any doubt in my mind that they will be well-prepared for the Grizzlies.
-They have a system and everyone on that team, from 1-15 knows their role. This goes hand-in-hand with the point above, but it's worth mentioning this ever important point. Especially since they are rested, and will be able to run at us.
-They have Tony Parker, and he is damn good. He oftentimes doesn't get the credit he's due, but he's going to really make Mike Conley work. He's not only quick and crafty, but he's developed a nice jumper, which really elevates his game.
-They have size. With Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, DeJuan Blair and even Boris Diaw (oh, and one more guy who we'll get to later), they can throw bodies at our bigs. Typically, we're able to muscle with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol in the paint, causing mismatches. Not against the Spurs, though.
-They are a very good offensive team. They are 3rd in the league in efficiency and 4th in points scored. In turn, they are also 10th in the league in points allowed, meaning they possess a fine combination of both offensive push and nice stands on the defensive end.
-They are very, very deep, even without Stephen Jackson and Kawhi Leonard. When you can bring Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter, Gary Neal and company off the bench, you're pretty deep.
-They have Matt Bonner. Dude just kills the Grizzlies. He averages 8.1 points per game against them, which is the second best average against any team over his career, and the Grizzlies are the team that he's most dominated from beyond the arc. Of. Course. They. Are.
-They are a damn good basketball team. Like, damn, damn good.
-They are rested. The Grizzlies played last night against the Pistons, grinding away a victory, while the Spurs have been rested since Wednesday -- save for their bench.
-They have an awesome blog that covers them. These bros: Pounding The Rock
-They are 7th in the league, having four of their current players mentioned in rap songs.
-They are going to be damn hard to beat on the road tonight.
As of now there is no news to whether or not Tony Allen is going to play tonight. He is with the team, but no status update as of yet.
I'm certainly looking forward to this one. What say you, Grizzlies fans?
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