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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies

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The Spurs look to remain unbeaten at home this season as they host the very shorthanded Grizzlies.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
March 25, 2016, 7:30 p.m. Spurs Time
TV: FSSW Radio: WOAI 1200AM

The first two meetings of the season between these two teams were not close, with San Antonio winning the first game, 92-82, and the second, 103-83.

This one doesn't seem like it's going to be much easier for the Grizzlies even though San Antonio will be without the services of Danny Green (rest), Kawhi Leonard (out with a right-quad contusion), Boris Diaw (rest) and Patty Mills (rest). Normally that would tilt the odds in favor of the other team but with the state that the Grizzlies are in it seems like Gregg Popovich is trying to make the fight just a little more even. That, and squeeze in some rest for his guys as the real season quickly approaches.

Not only do the Grizz have to come into the AT&T Center, where it's all but impossible to beat the Spurs, but they will be without their two best players in Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. Gasol broke his foot, a terrible injury for a big man, and will be out for the rest of the season while Conley is expected to miss most of the rest of the regular season while he recovers from achilles tendonitis. The good news for Memphis is that they expect to have Conley back in time for the playoffs.

But the lift that Conley's future return will bring won't help the Grizzlies here and they will likely start brief-Spur, Ray McCallum, at the point in Conley's place. The Grindfather himself, Tony Allen for the uninitiated, will play the two for Memphis and he'll try to recapture some of the magic that he had on Tuesday night when he went for 27 points (ON 12-FOR-12 FROM THE FIELD!!!) and added four boards and five dimes. It wasn't enough to beat the Lakers, as Lance Stephenson and  Zach Randolph were second in scoring for the Grizz with 16 apiece. No other Memphis player scored in double digits.

Speaking of Randolph, he sprained his right ankle against those Lakers and is questionable for tonight's contest, and he's also dealing with a pretty awful allegation. If Randolph is unable to go, the undermanned Grizzlies will really have to dig deep if they want to compete with San Antonio.

Memphis is a mess right now, treading water with the hope Mike Conley's return can give them a spark to win a playoff series. That's where they're at. They have suited up 23 players this season, which isn't exactly ideal. Even with a poor 4-6 record over their last 10 games, the Grizz remain in fifth position out West, four games up in the loss column from the Portland Trail Blazers, who are in a 4-6 skid of their own. But with back-to-back games against the Spurs (Memphis hosts SA on Monday night) and a very tough remaining schedule (their last 10 games include Spurs x2, Warriors x2, Clippers, Mavs, Raptors), they are going to have to throw a few wrenches into the gears of their opponents and grind it out if they want to remain in the five-seed when the regular season comes to a close.

Just for fun, with apologies to Memphis fans, here's the bench that played against the Lakers on Tuesday night: Jarell Martin, JaMychal Green, Lance Stephenson, Ryan Hollins, Vince Carter, Jordan Farmar and Xavier Munford. You can see who they started in the table below. That 12-man lineup is not what the Grizz pictured, by any stretch, at the beginning of the season.

If the Spurs know what's good for them, they'll come out, take care of business and, you know, keep Lance Stephenson from going Jeremy Lin on them.

Matchup to watch: I wish we were going to get to see Timmy and Marc Gasol go at it, but I'll take Tony Allen and Manu Ginobili. That should be fun. A few minutes of Jonathon Simmons' (just recalled from the Austin Spurs) athleticism vs. the guile and tenacity of Allen is also something I'll be looking for tonight.

San Antonio Spurs: 58-10

Memphis Grizzlies: 41-31

March 25, 2016

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

7:30 pm, CDT

TV: FSSW

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

Ray McCallum

Jonathon Simmons/Kevin Martin?

SG

Tony Allen

Kyle Anderson?

SF

Matt Barnes

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Chris "Birdman" Anderson

Tim Duncan

C

Zach Randolph???

Game prediction: Spurs by 9.

Line in Vegas: N/A as of 2 a.m.

For the Memphis fans' perspective, visit Grizzly Bear Blues

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.