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Game Preview: Grizzlies and Spurs renew rivalry

The Grizzlies face another Western Conference contender on Friday night.

Andy Lyons

The 23-10 Grizzlies host the 28-10 Spurs on Friday night, a team they lost to on December 1st.

It's also a team they'll play twice in the next 7 days.

I think a message needs to be sent to their neighbors in the division, especially considering that MEM has 5 games more to play than SAS the rest of the way (how does that happen?).

Normally, this team likes to establish Z-Bo & Marc inside early...something I fully endorse. But in this contest, I think they should run some guard action early. Let's get Mike Conley and Rudy Gay loose on the first few trips downcourt. After a 3-0 roadtrip, I fear the Grizzlies may have a letdown early in the game. I think force-feeding the post may actually hurt the overall energy coming home.

San Antonio, meanwhile, is coming off of a win over the Lakers at home, which they almost blew late. I expect Pop's crew to be inspired early in this one.

This is going to sound strange, but Memphis needs to try and keep the Spurs out of transition. It's no longer the boring, plodding Spurs. Parker, Green, and Leonard come at you hard in transition. Speaking of plodding, the Gasol-Duncan matchup will be quietly fun to watch. From high to low post, the fundamentals will be on display.

I can't wait for this one to get to 'crunchtime'. Jerryd Bayless played the entire 4th quarter alongside Conley on Wednesday night. I'm curious to see if Lionel Hollins will go with that same look vs San Antonio. Tony Allen's defense is important, but when (if) Bayless is right he brings a lot of things on both ends. Remember, he also had a huge block late in that game on Jarett Jack.

Whichever way Hollins decides to go late, I'm expecting a close game and another playoff-style effort for the Grizzlies.

And, of course, another win.

Tickets: Memphis Grizzlies tickets. See Pounding The Rock for the Spurs side of the story.