Game #60 Preview: Spurs @ Grizzlies

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.

_________________________________

Ptr_ambigram_white_on_black_medium
San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies
Where: FedEx Forum

When: 03/01/2011, 7:00 PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: FSSW


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By the Numbers

Data sources:
hoopdata.com | basketball-reference.com | John Hollinger's team stats

Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 109
(2nd)
100.7
(7th)
Rebound %
25.2
(20th)
74.8
(11th)
Field Goal % 47.2
(6th)
44.8
(10th)
3-Point % 40.1
(1st)
37.1
(25th)
Free Throw %
77.1
(13th)
75.5
(10th)
Turnover %
12.9
(5th)
12.8
(23rd)
Assist %
60.1
(8th)
53.3
(3rd)
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 103.3
(20th)
102.3
(10th)
Rebound %
28.3
(7th)
72
(24th)
Field Goal % 46.4
(9th)
45.4
(14th)
3-Point % 33.7
(25th)
36.3
(15th)
Free Throw %
75.3
(22nd)
75.8
(12th)
Turnover %
13.1
(11th)
15.6
(1st)
Assist %
51.5
(30th)
57.9
(15th)
Record Wins Losses
Overall 49 10
Conference 31 5
Division 8 3
Home 28 2
Away 21 8
Position Conference Division
Record 1st 1st
Lineups

Starters
PG: George Hill
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: DeJuan Blair
C: Tim Duncan

Key Bench Players
Gary Neal(?)
Matt Bonner
James Anderson
Antonio McDyess
Chris Quinn

Record Wins Losses
Overall 33 28
Conference 19 18
Division 3 7
Home 20 8
Away 13 20
Position Conference Division
Record 8th 4th
Lineups

Starters
PG: Mike Conley
SG: Tony Allen
SF: Sam Young
PF: Zach Randolph
C: Marc Gasol

Key Bench Players
Shane Battier
O.J. Mayo
Darrell Arthur
Jason Williams

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward

Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles

Mojo
Winner

Starters

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.

Bench

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.

Coaching

With the job Pop has done this year, do I really need to explain this one?

Intangibles

Our road record is just slightly better than the Grizz's home record. Yeah, that's about it.

Mojo

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.

Prediction

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.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell

Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back.

Project Spurs

Spurs Nation

Grizzlies

Straight Outta Vancouver(SB Nation)

Following Along

TV

FSSW, NBA League Pass

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

Online

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 poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.

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