Game Preview #45: Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs

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I'm still not satisfied with that win over Atlanta, and we need to get some payback against the Grizz. Also, this Memphis squad is creeping up behind the Spurs in the standings. Lots of things to worry about, people. Hack preview, after the J.

I will now shamelessly post some choice quotes from the Hawks game, see if it helps with the mojo or for whatever use it may serve.

Coach Pop

I thought we played and executed pretty well for most of the 48 minutes for more of the game than we have lately. Tim was a monster on the boards and I thought Richard showed some good aggressiveness tonight, that’s what we have been looking for. It was a good night.

On if Antonio McDyess starting was a matchup adjustment

Not necessarily. We just like the offensive balance. He did a real fine job. He is getting more and more comfortable shooting the ball and not deferring to people. He played well around the rim tonight. He has always been a solid player; it’s just a matter of him finding a spot for himself. Hopefully that’s happening.

On the injury to Tony Parker

No one is going to replace Tony Parker. Everyone will step up and we will play hard and play to win.

(Play to win? Did I read that correctly?)

Dice Dice Baby

They have very athletic guys just like Chicago. Josh Smith is a great shot blocker in the middle and you have to take it to his body and be aggressive. We definitely did that tonight.

Rage Against the Overpaid

On learning the Spurs system

I just have stick with it – the opportunities are going to come. I haven’t shot the ball well the last few games but you can’t let your confidence go down since you might get frustrated or annoyed. You have to stay the course. Coach Pop does a good job of telling me to focus on other things like rebounding and defense – the offense will come. When you have been doing things for quite a few years and then get into a new system, you are going to have your ups and downs.

Hawkers

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"I vil now abzorb yer jumpshot skillz"

Josh Smith on Tim Duncan

I think we did a good job on Tim at the beginning but you have to remember he’s an All-Star and a future Hall of Fame player. Tim finds ways to get his game open and make his shots. Tim attacked the rebounds tonight and got some easy put backs and shot extremely well from the free throw line. When Tim gets going early it normally carries the entire night.

Jamal Crawford on Timmay

Tim Duncan is one of the greatest players of all time. He’s just so smart on the court and you always have your hands full when you play against him. Tonight was a big team effort for San Antonio and they were ready to play tonight. The Spurs were very hungry for a win and you felt that vibe from the start of the game.

I got nothing, so have a lame Grizzly Bear fight!

Since the All-Star reserves (Congrats, Z-Bo! What? No no no, you're not getting a cheeseburger! You got selected as an All-Star! You still prefer the cheeseburger over it? Are you kidding me? You're... hopeless.) have been announced and the All-Star Weekend fast-approaching, here is a clip of Conan 'O Brien wreaking havoc in the 1995 All-Star game in Phoenix. This also explains the origin of David Robinson's nickname, "The Admiral." High comedy. (thanks to BDL for the original linkage)

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Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: January 29, 2010; 7:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: FSN Southwest


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How They Stack Up
18-9 Home 17-5
8-9 Road 8-14
101.0
Offense 103.7
96.0 Defense 103.4
47.5 FG% 47.7
37.5
3-pt% 34.4
73.6
FT% 74.0
42.8
Rebounds 43.6
13.8
TOs 15.5
5-5 Last 10 8-2
won 1
Streak Won 3
2nd, Southwest Position 3rd, Southwest

Country/Time Zone Game Time
Argentina 10:30 PM
West Coast
5:30 PM
Philippines 9:30 AM
Central Europe 2:30 AM
Palestine/Egypt 3:30 AM
East Coast 8:30 PM
Surprisingly Balmy
6:30 PM
Perth, AUS 9:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 10:30 AM
Sydney, AUS 11:30 AM

Spurs
(26-18)
Matchups

Grizzlies
(25-19)

George Hill
Tony who?
No Tony tonight, but George has been ballin' the last few games with his newfound role as a starter. Conley's solid but not spectacular, so I gotta give Albatross some white box props.

Mike Conley
Former Buckeye

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Manu Ginobili
FSM's son

Shooting Guard

This isn't a slight to Mayo, whose game compares reasonably well to that of Manu. We'll count on Keith Bogans to try to quiet him down early on, before unleashing Manu on them. Manu gets the edge for his incredible passing and playmaking.

Advantage: Spurs


O.J. Mayo
Grocery List

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Richard Jefferson
$14 Million Man

Small Forward

Rudy is better, unless Rage shows us otherwise. I doubt it.

Advantage: Grizzlies


Rudy Gay
Less of a Ballhog

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Tim Duncan
What year is it?

Power Forward

Zach has been reaaally good this season, and gave us fits during the first encounter. I'm kinda hoping he gets in touch with his inner Jailblazer and sucks tonight. Meanwhile, Timmy just set a career high in rebounds at age 33. Sweet.

Advantage: Tied


Zach Randolph
Former Jailblazer

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Antonio McDyess
SAM

Center

Maybe Pop will start Dice again after he played another good game the last timeout. But if not, I put him in anyway because I wanted to match up Blair and Thabeet at the reserves.

On the other end, Baby Brother Gasol is cool and he's good. Pau is ugly.

Advantage: Grizzlies


Marc Gasol
Might be better than Pau

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DeJuan Blair
Blairness Monster

Bench & Role Players

Who cares about Blair's college buddy Sam Young? We want to see a Thabeetdown!

Advantage: Tied


Hasheem Thabeet
Tanzanian Devil

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Gregg Popovich
Wino

Coach

Lionel Hollins just might win COY if he gets these Grizzlies into the playoffs. As for Pop? Maybe he should start caring putting up a decent streak and creating separation in a very tight division.

Advantage: Spurs


Lionel Hollins
Potential (Cursed) COY
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

The Grizzlies are on a roll. We kinda woke up against the Hawks, though.

Advantage: Tied

Mojo

8-2. That's not the Spurs' record in the last 10, but Memphis'. They know they can beat the good teams. The Spurs? Not yet, really.

Advantage: Grizz

Winner:

My preview streak was broken by the damn Utah Jazz. I hope to start a new one. And also, I'm thinking the Spurs still want to salvage an even 3-3 at the end of this 6-game homestand.

Keys To The Game

  • Defense - Memphis' offense is currently ranked 6th. We need more stops. Simple as that.
  • Attack of the Show - That's a really geeky show, but Olivia Munn is hot so I watch it. Kidding aside, if the Grizz offense is good, their defense is waaay south at 24th in ppg allowed. No Tony, but if the Spurs can keep up the aggressiveness from the Hawks game, we're good to go.

Strength of Schedule

This is the 5th game of a 6-game homestand and so far, so bad, we are 1-3. The Spurs only had a day's rest, but hopefully we'll keep on chugging along. The Rodeo Road Trip looms ever closer. Be afraid. Be veeery afraid.

The Grizzlies are also coming off a one-day rest, but this is the second half of a 2-game roadie.

Last Time They Met

The Spurs lost in the first meeting, 86-92, but played the Grizzlies close. Hopefully we won't get Chicago'd this time.

Some Other Reading

Grizzlies

Straight Outta Vancouver - Here you'll find the SBN site for the Grizz, where djturtleface does everything himself. That guy must have a death wish to do so much.
3 Shades of Blue - The Memphis TrueHoop affiliate. True confession: Tim C's a regular reader - and he just really likes the way it's written.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: The best TrueHoop team blog is now even better, after adding two new writers. Congrats to Jesse and Andrew, who are already doing good work.
Project Spurs: Check out their podcast recaps of the game, plus the well-written articles.


Where to Tune In

TV

This game will be aired on Fox Sports SW in San Antonio, and maybe on TV in Memphis. If you have cable or satellite, you'll have to look up your individual channel. And of course, there's always League Pass for the haves. For the have nots, read on.

Online

As always, NBA League Pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Most Spurs games will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com for more assistance.

NBA League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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