Game Preview: Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs vs Memphis Grizzlies

AT&T Center
December 26, 2011 - 7:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

Well, the regular season is officially upon us. When I first saw who we face on opening night, my reaction was less than positive, for obvious reasons. But then after awhile, I started to think back on those reasons, as I have everyday since last season ended. And then I got excited. I got fired up. I want to be out on that floor with our Spurs, helping them to victory over this promising young crop of talent from the city that is just about even with St. Louis, on the map. Maybe even a hint East, but who's really keeping track, anyway?

I'm not so much thinking this as a revenge game. First, and foremost, it's a home game against a division opponent. We're going to need every one of these to stay afloat. There's definitely some history here. Last year was not the first year we struggled with the Grizz. They've kind of been a thorn in our side, similar to the Nooch, maybe not as good. I remember a few regular season losses before, but fortunately, we didn't have anything to worry about, because they never made the playoffs. Well...every dog has his day, right? And they had four of them against our guys.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Tiago Splitter

Key Bench Players
DeJuan Blair
Kawhi Leonard
James Anderson

Lineups

Starters
PG: Mike Conley
SG: Tony Allen
SF: Rudy Gay
PF: Zach Randolph
C: Marc Gasol

Key Bench Players
O.J. Mayo

They beat us with size. Feeding Gasol and Randolph down low was too much for our guys. Tiago Splitter didn't get much time, RJ and Blair pulled the disapearing act, and Timmy couldn't do it by himself, as he probably could in his prime. Darrell Arthur is out for the season, and Marc Gasol is listed as day to day. Rudy Gay is back, which could prove problematic, as he will probably over compensate for the loss of Arthur. The Grizz attempted to trade O.J. yet again, but it didn't go through.

Our guys have made a few changes too, though. Timmy's dropped 15 pounds, reportedly. We've signed T.J. Ford to keep Tony fresh, we were without James Anderson, and Manu had one arm. We've added a young pup by the name of Kawhi Leonard. Manu is still our assassin. Tony Parker will have a chip on his shoulder. Timmy is still the greatest power forward of all time. When those three are on our side, I don't see any reason why we cannot win today. This is a new year. Clean slate. Our three need to start mentoring our younger guys and showing them how to play in this league. Both the Lakers and Mavs lost yesterday, so let's hope our guys take advantage of the Christmas gift.

We have got to be in control from the start, though. They've got to play our game, and we cannot be playing catch up the entire game. It's a recipe for disaster. We cannot rely on a late game rally, because, sure it happens from time to time, and sure, we can't quit and all that. But our guys need to come in with the attitude that these guys are in our house, and they're not beating us here. And speaking of battle, Lauri summed it up nicely, in LatinD's highly recommended most recent post:

Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Timmy the King, Parker, and Bonner,
Blair and Splitter, Ginobili and Popovich,
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And the glory of the Spurs shall ne’er be told,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that pounds the rock with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And players in the U.S. (and okay, Toronto) now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That balled with us upon the court this opening day.

We're back. Let's rock.


As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game 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.

Check out these excellent sights: 48MinutesofHell, 3 Shades of Blue, Straight Outta Vancouver.

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