WHEN: 7:30 P.M. CT
WHERE: AT&T Center San Antonio, Texas
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: TNT/ Fox Sports Southeast/NBA League Pass/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis
MEMPHIS: Grayson Allen (Out, health and safety protocol), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Out, knee), Jontay Porter (Out, knee), Justise Winslow (Out, hip), Jonas Valanciunas (Out, health and safety protocols), Sean McDermott (Out, shoulder soreness), Killian Tillie (Out, foot soreness)
Derrick White (Questionable, Toe)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Brandon Clarke, Xavier Tillman
San Antonio: Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson. LaMarcus Aldridge
The smile is back and so are the Grizzlies after practice tonight. pic.twitter.com/vSGemA7paJ— Evan Barnes〽️ (@evan_b) January 28, 2021
We are all Ja Morant, am I right?
The Memphis Grizzlies officially return to the hardwood tonight against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio at AT&T Center as they look to continue their five game winning streak. The Grizzlies haven’t played since January 18th in their MLK Day win against the Phoenix Suns at FedEx Forum due to contact tracing. After 12 days off for the Grizzlies, they have a tough challenge ahead tonight as they take on the Spurs who won last night in Denver against the Nuggets. The Spurs also enter tonight’s contest riding a three game winning streak.
For the Grizzlies, it will be about shaking the rust off as soon as possible. They’re playing a Spurs team that will be playing their second game in a back-to-back. It’s a tale of two teams trying to make it through one of the toughest seasons any of us have seen. How do the Grizzlies extend their winning streak following a 12 day break?
Keep it simple:
The last time the Grizzlies faced off, it was in the Grizzlies season opener back on December 23rd at FedEx Forum in Memphis. A game in which the Grizzlies defense was absolutely horrendous. All five Spurs starters scored double figures, and scored 131 points on Memphis. Things have obviously changed since then as the Grizzlies sit second in the NBA in defensive rating as that is key reason behind this five game winning streak. Tonight, the Grizzlies will need to funnel the Spurs production to their two main guys in DeMar DeRozan, and LaMarcus Aldridge. If the Grizzlies let Dejonte Murray and Kelon Johnson start rolling offensively, it is a slippery slope. Play defense, share the ball offensively, and make it a muddy game - you hang around to stand a chance.
Assists, Assists, oh and more assists...
The Grizzlies sit tied for second in the NBA is team assists per game at 27.2 per game heading into tonight’s matchup with San Antonio. While defense is key, getting the ball out in transition off of stops will be huge. The Spurs half court defense is really coming into it’s own, mainly due to their IQ and length on the perimeter, so limiting their defense to get setup will be huge for the Grizzlies. Morant can navigate the half-court sets for the Grizzlies, and Tyus Jones off the bench, but the Grizzlies have to convert in transition.
If the Grizzlies pass the ball, and limit their mistakes tonight... They should be there at the end tonight. The Spurs are a very high IQ basketball, which you wouldn’t expect anything else from a Greg Popovich coached team.
It’ll be a close game, but the Grizzlies haven’t played in 12 days, and the Spurs are coming off a back-to-back..
Grizzlies 102 - Spurs 110