On the heels of a bizarre game where even the officials weren't exempt from injuries, and Tony Parker was hurt badly enough to keep him out for a few weeks, the Spurs find themselves squaring off with the same opponent again, in their house. The Grizzlies can smell blood, and after two games narrowly lost in San Antonio, they have to feel good about their chances. Oh, and there's some kind of season milestone the Spurs might be able to hit tonight...
That would be the 50-win mark, tying the number of victories from all of last season. But the Spurs are going to have a real fight on their hands without Tony, and the Grizz are better than you think. Let's get that 50th win.
Music while you
read wait for the game
Here's a little something by a band I like from Australia.
And here's a selection from Hipuks. For some strange reason, I feel the need to emphasize that Hipuks is not actually an American citizen.
San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies
Where: FedEx Forum
When: 03/01/2011, 7:00 PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
By the Numbers
PG: Tony needs to dominate Fisher, which he can still do from his seat behind the bench. Meanwhile, George needs to dominate Conley, who has become quite the solid PG, since the second unit is probably going to struggle without him.
SG: Manu gets a 2-0 Spur advantage. Any questions? I didn't think so.
SF: RJ came alive in the 4th quarter of Sunday night's Spurs win, but we're going to need our number 4 scorer to step up for the duration of games until we get our number 2 scorer back. Oh, and somebody needs to run some plays for him that don't involve shooting a 3. Sam Young's journey from doghouse to starter this season has been remarkable, but RJ gets the nod.
PF: Sorry, Blair. Z-Bo has improved his D enough to impress me, and we're going to need full Beast-mode Blair if we want to negate his contributions.
C: Goatpuff vs. the lesser Gasol? Gimme the Goatpuff. Although, being the "lesser Gasol" is still pretty awesome.
Getting Battier back is HUGE for the Grizz, as they now have two top-flight defensive wing players in him and Allen. (Attention Spurs: Corey Brewer is available) With George starting and Neal questionable, I'm going to call this a draw, although Neal would put us over the top.
With the job Pop has done this year, do I really need to explain this one?
Our road record is just slightly better than the Grizz's home record. Yeah, that's about it.
What was going on in that game the other night? The Spurs got dominated, and would have lost if not for Manu's heroics. There, I said it.
Spurs squeak out another one.
Keys to the Game
Rebounding and Turnovers - Sunday night, the Grizz took 23(!) more shots than the Spurs did. They did that by grabbing 17 offensive rebounds and forcing the Spurs to turn the ball over on an outrageous 18% of their possessions. Since the Grizz are the best team in the league at forcing turnovers, and one of the better offensive rebounding teams, this isn't all that surprising. However, it was a pathetic showing for the Spurs, and we shouldn't rely on Manu and free throws to save us again.
Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back.
Straight Outta Vancouver(SB Nation)
FSSW, NBA League Pass
WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]
As always, 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. You can also shoot an email to email@example.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.