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Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs Game Preview

The Memphis Grizzlies continue their back-to-back with the first of 2 straight matchups at home against the San Antonio Spurs.

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San Antonio Spurs v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (26-13, 16-3 home) vs. San Antonio Spurs (13-27, 5-13 away)

WHEN: 7:00 PM CT

WHERE: FedExForum

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: Bally Sports Southeast/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis

INJURY REPORT:

MEMPHIS: Ja Morant (Questionable, Thigh), Steven Adams (Questionable, Non-COVID Illness), Brandon Clarke (Out, Hip), Jake LaRavia (Out, G League Assignment), Vince Williams Jr. (Out, Two-Way Transfer), Kenneth Lofton Jr. (Out, Two-Way Transfer), Danny Green (Out, Knee)

SAN ANTONIO: Devin Vassell (Out, knee), Jakob Poetl (Day-to-Day), Keldon Johnson (Day-to-Day)

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:

MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Steven Adams

SAN ANTONIO: Tre Jones, Romeo Langford, Keita Bates-Diop, Jeremy Sochan, Zach Collins

Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies continue their homestand with the second half of a back-to-back against the San Antonio Spurs in what will be the first of a Monday/Wednesday double-header for these two squads.

For the first time this century, the San Antonio Spurs are not in the mix, as they’re 14th in the Western Conference — and for the brighter side of things for Spurs fans, they’re 4th in the Victor Wembanyama/Scoot Henderson odds standings. After a successful run under Gregg Popovich, they’re leaning towards player development this season to see who they have in their talent pipeline.

We never know what to expect in the second half of a back-to-back, primarily because the injury report isn’t released until after this is published. Often times, the Grizzlies medical staff leans towards using these as maintenance rest days.

So let’s keep things simple here.

Memphis Grizzlies v San Antonio Spurs Photos by Cooper Neill/NBAE via Getty Images

Don’t take it lightly

The overarching theme of this game is quite simple: don’t take it lightly.

The Memphis Grizzlies are playing some of their best basketball of the season thus far, and it’s quite easy to get overconfident when there’s a talent drop-off on a night. We saw this happen when their 7-game winning streak snapped against an Oklahoma City Thunder team without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey.

The Spurs are not the Spurs we’ve been used to over the past 25 years, but they’re still a feisty bunch full of interesting young players. They showed how they shouldn’t be taken lightly against a healthy Boston Celtics squad on Saturday night, after they only lost by 5 points to them.

They may not have their 3 best players in Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, and Jakob Poetl, but they do have the talent and the coaching to surprise anybody on any given night.

For the Grizzlies, they just have to stay as locked in as they’ve been over the course of this winning streak.

The possible storylines from this game

  • Is Ja Morant the next one to join the 50-ball club? The San Antonio Spurs are the team Ja Morant averages the most points against in this career, tallying 27.8 points on 57.7% shooting in 11 games against their division foe. Last year, he recorded the Grizzlies’ first 50-point performance in franchise history. He also has two 40-point games against them as well, with his 44-point performance on opening night in his sophomore season shining the brightest. The league is in a crazy scoring surge right now. Can Ja Morant join the party tonight (or Wednesday)?
  • Get Desmond Bane going. Bane is still finding his groove since his return, but the non-scoring aspects are sticking out more — as he corralled double-digit rebounds against Charlotte, then had 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals against the Jazz last night. Bane won’t be in this rough of a shooting slump forever, and he seemed to show that with a 4-7 shooting night in yesterday’s outing. A progression to the mean should happen as he recovers more from his toe injury. The Grizzlies need to continue running actions for him to generate clean looks from the perimeter to get their best shooter going — if they don’t rest him tonight.
  • Tyus and Tre Jones starting against each other? Tyus Jones started in place of the injured Ja Morant in yesterday’s game. Tre Jones has become the starting point guard this season for the Spurs — ranking in the top 10 in total assists (8th, 249) and steals (10th, 54). If Morant isn’t a go tonight, it’ll be cool to see Tyus battle it out with his little brother, Tre.

Prediction: The Memphis Grizzlies open up the floodgates in the second quarter into the 3rd quarter and win 125-107.

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