WHO: Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs
WHAT: 2022 NBA Summer League
WHEN: 5:00 PM CT
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: ESPN/92.9 FM ESPN MEMPHIS
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Kennedy Chandler, Ziaire Williams, Jake LaRavia, Santi Aldama, Xavier Tillman
SAN ANTONIO: Malaki Branham, Blake Wesley, DJ Stewart, Robert Woodard II, Dominick Barlow
After losing to the Boston Celtics 108-91 on Thursday afternoon, the Memphis Grizzlies are officially out of Las Vegas Summer League championship contention. The young Grizz get one more chance to showcase their talent out in Vegas, and that comes against the San Antonio Spurs.
The Spurs are winless in this year’s Summer League, with their most recent effort being a one-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks. The Spurs lost by a final tally of 87-86 after leading by 15 late in the third. The Spurs have been without 2021 lottery pick Joshua Primo for their last two games, as the 19-year-old guard is in health and safety protocols. To the point of writing, there have been no reports of Primo clearing protocols.
With the Grizzlies out of championship contention, it will be interesting to see who gets the bulk of the minutes in the final game. Has the coaching staff seen enough from its players with NBA experience like Santi Aldama and Ziaire Williams? Does the staff value having one more game worth of tape on first-rounders Jake LaRavia and David Roddy? Or will we see more minutes go to players that might be vying for a spot on the Memphis Hustle like Ronaldo Segu?
Regardless of who actually ends up playing in this matchup, it should be worth a watch. If the starters play, it’s the last chance for Grizzlies fans to see point-forward Ziaire and green-light Santi. If the bench gets more minutes, it will provide a window into the future of the Grizzlies’ developmental system, and should give another game of insight into both Kenneth Lofton Jr. and Kennedy Chandler’s futures at the NBA and G-League levels.
Personally, I would like to see one more game from the rookies and NBA experienced players, as I think that another game of experience would help players like LaRavia and Roddy feel a little bit more experienced before going into the season.
What’s crucial to remember in this edition of the Summer League for the Grizz is the minutes lost to free agency and trades in the offseason this year. Replacing De’Anthony Melton and Kyle Anderson’s production off the bench with rookies and second-year players will be a tall task, and getting those players as many game-like scenarios as possible could be helpful to get those players as comfortable as they can be before they hit the court in the regular season. That said, I could definitely also see the case for playing the players with little-to-no experience, as getting them game-like reps could help with their future development.
I think regardless of who plays the bulk of minutes in the game, the Grizzlies should be able to pull out the win against a weakened Spurs team. Hopefully the Grizzlies will be able to use a win in their last summer league game to gain some positive momentum into a crucial offseason for the young squad.