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Game 3 Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies

After holding serve through Games 1 and 2, the Spurs will look to stay on pace for a sweep when the series shifts to Memphis.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Memphis Grizzlies

FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
Date: 4/22/16, Time: 8:30 PM Spurs Time

At theater screenings of the 2003 film The Room, bringing spoons is encouraged. Between scenes of rooftop heart-to-hearts and visits to the flower shop, viewers can indulge in throwing plastic spoons at the screen at any point when a framed picture of silverware comes into frame. It's more fun than it sounds!

Spoons -- even metaphorical ones -- are less ideal when they're metaphorically wielded against metaphorical guns in metaphorical battle. That's how Matt Barnes illustrated the Grizzlies' efforts against the Spurs following their 94-68 Game 2 loss.

It's less than ideal to lead with a quote uttered casually post defeat (or, for that matter, make any allusion to The Room), but as this series' conclusion appears more and more foregone, quotes and memes can help keep you going.

For a team that packed spoons, the Grizzlies haven't been able to feed so far this series. Through two games the Spurs have held them to 142 points and 36% shooting, and they've done it while keeping their own stars on ice (in Game 1 no one played more than 29 minutes, while in Game 2 the number was capped at 27). As the only big hitter on Memphis' roster, the Spurs have made Zach Randolph a major focus of their defensive scheme, which has made for some long nights for Z-Bo, who went cold again (5 for 17) on Tuesday.

The goal of course is to not only get the W in games like these, but to continue to find ways to stay sharp.  Michael Erler noted recently that one contrast between playoff Spurs and regular season Spurs is that they begin to play their opponents instead of focusing on their own game/style of play.

Plays like the below are great to look at, but it's hard to imagine them coming as easily against a defense like the Warriors' that stymied San Antonio during the regular season:

That's why I liked what happened in Game 2 in which, by design or not, the Spurs were equally aggressive and inventive in one-on-one situations. When it wasn't Boris gamboling around Chris Andersen for an easy two, Kawhi went to work against Matt Barnes and, at times, the rest of the Grizzlies D.

Again, buckets like that won't come as easily versus Golden State, but the Spurs' team offense as a whole will only go as far as the individuals' ability to attack and stretch the the Warriors' very elastic defense.

The Rockets pulled off the unlikely upset of Golden State last night, but it took a number of factors that Memphis doesn't have going for it, the two most important being the absence of their opponent's superstar and a big performance from their own. The Spurs should be able to come in tonight with the same focus they've shown so far and hopefully set things up for the sweep on Sunday.

Key to winning: Get in. Get out. Bring home something nice.


San Antonio Spurs

(Playoffs record: 2-0)

Memphis Grizzlies

(Playoffs record: 0-2)

April 22, 2016

FedExForum, Memphis, TN

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 17.

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.