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Tony Allen's availability is a likely factor for the Grizzlies chances in San Antonio

The Grindfather's presence could have multiple effects tonight against the Spurs.

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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Allen didn't finish the Grizzlies game against the Golden State Warrriors unscathed. If I'm being honest, I'm not sure anyone for Memphis -- player, staffer, or fan -- left FedexForum Friday night without at least a few mild contusions or loss of blood.

It was a brutal outing to say the least, and it left Tony with a strained hammy.

As of 12:00PM, Tony is listed as the probable starter at SF for Memphis tonight, but it's something to monitor up until game time.

If he's good to go, we're going to see Allen defending the likes of Kawhi Leonard (whom the Grizzlies have only seen once this season, loss on Dec 5th), and he will probably be brought in to stick to Manu Ginobili for a couple of stretches of the game as well. Those two players for the Spurs could end up with big nights if the Grindfather sits it out.

Allen's availability also has an impact on the Grizzlies at the other end of the court. His presence on offense presents a spacing issue that the Spurs have no trouble exploiting. If you forgot, that strategy goes as such: pack the paint like sardines and send a formal invitation to Tony Allen to line up for wide open 3's on the perimeter. And history has shown us that those shots are more appropriate for celebrating a blow out win rather than keeping pace with a team like the Spurs.

If TA is able to go tonight it will put a little more pressure on Mike Conley and Courtney Lee to hit their share of shots and give Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph room to work in the post. When Conley/Lee find their stroke it has great results -- shooting a combined 5/7 from three when the Grizzlies coasted to a 95-87 win over San Antonio on December 30th.

Recently, the starting guards for Memphis couldn't be any further away from each other on the spectrum of production. Beyond the arc, Mike Conley is shooting 59% (10/17) in his five games since returning from an ankle injury while Courtney Lee is shooting 15% (2/13) in his last five outings.

With or without Tony, Lee will need to shooter better than 15% for the Grizzlies to have success tonight.

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