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Game 2 Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzllies

The Spurs will look to follow up their Game 1 blowout win with another strong performance to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs Memphis Grizzlies

AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Date: 4/19/16, Time: 8:30 PM Spurs Time

The blocks and steals numbers (9 and 13, respectively) were impressive; the Lance Stephenson clip is hilarious, and 74 points is never going to get it done in the playoffs. But perhaps the most disheartening part of Memphis' 32-point Game 1 loss to the Spurs is that there aren't too many significant adjustments the team can make going into Game 2.

As expected, the Grizzlies bodied up on Spurs players out to the three-point line and tried to complicate things before they could receive the ball -- anything to keep the San Antonio offense from getting into a rhythm. It's an approach they're likely to bring for the rest of the series, but one the Spurs responded to well.

The more open floor allowed for Tony Parker to get to the hoop with ease, with most of his finishes happening in the paint and many of his assists coming via penetration. LaMarcus Aldridge caught Zach Randolph sleeping too far from the basket and scored on a backdoor cut. And when that wasn't in play, San Antonio would simply play through the Grizzlies' physicality:

Offensively, Memphis will probably look to repeat what worked on Sunday. Lance Stephenson and Vince Carter aren't elite one-on-one players, but their ability to create offense on iso possessions was more effective than the Grizzlies taking on San Antonio's collective defense. They also didn't shy away from sending multiple guys at the rim, either looking to crash the offensive glass or receive a last-minute dish for a lay-in, although their transition defense suffered as a result. They even shot OK (44%) from three!

The Grizzlies ultimately looked their best when they capitalized on those opportunities before the SA defense converged on them. When it took too long for the plays to develop, the Spurs were quick to turn those possessions into blocks or steals, Kawhi Leonard having a hand in many of them.

Speaking of, the largest applause you're likely to hear tonight won't come after the final horn sounds but rather before the opening tip, when Kawhi is recognized as the Defensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row. Congratulations, Mr. Leonard.

We've harped on about how overmatched Memphis is, and Game 1 only affirmed the idea that the Spurs can win this series without exerting themselves too much (no one played more than 29 minutes in the opener). There's no reason to think San Antonio can't win comfortably again tonight.

Key to winning: More bear patrol.


San Antonio Spurs

(Playoffs record: 1-0)

Memphis Grizzlies

(Playoffs record: 0-1)

April 19, 2016

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

8:30 PM CDT



Tony Parker


Jordan Farmar

Danny Green


Vince Carter

Kawhi Leonard


Matt Barnes

LaMarcus Aldridge


Zach Randolph

Tim Duncan


Chris Andersen

Game prediction: Spurs by 18.

For the Grizzlies fans' perspective, visit Grizzly Bear Blues.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.

As always, PtR's Gamethread will be up this evening for those who want to chat through the game. But if you're not able to log in here, you can try the Fanvana app which helps connect sports fans and was created by a fellow Spurs fan. Check out the free app on iOS or Android to discover other Spurs fans and join the live chatter for tonight's game. You can follow PtR's tweet stream directly on Fanvana as the game unfolds.