Quick trivia: Wednesday night Pau Gasol faced off against his brother Marc for the 25th time. That is the fifth-highest total among NBA brothers. They have also played each other more than any other international brothers in NBA history.
Can you name any other set of brothers who have faced each other more times than the Gasols?
San Antonio Spurs (14-7) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (7-13)
December 1, 2017 | 7:00 PM CDT
Watch: FSSW, Listen: WOAI
Spurs injuries: Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps), Derrick White (fractured right wrist)
Grizzles injuries: Mike Conley (Achilles), Chandler Parsons (right knee), Wayne Selden Jr. (right quad), Brandan Wright (groin), Mario Chalmers (ankle)
Blue Suede Size-18 Shoes
Since 2001, the Memphis Grizzlies have had a Gasol in one form or another. Big brother Pau started his career after being drafted 3rd overall before his rights were traded by Atlanta. Seven years later, Marc took over as center and he has spent his entire career in Memphis. While Marc exudes youth and a correlating athleticism, Pau added the 3-point shot, which has stretched his game and probably added for some fun family dinnertime conversation. It’s always fun to watch sibling rivalry play out on TV. You can keep your Kardashians and Property Brothers, I’ll take Gasol vs. Gasol over that any night of the week.
It’s Now Or Never
Other than Tyreke Evans scoring 22 points, the scoring was equally shared. James Ennis III scored 15, Andrew Harrison had 13, Marc Gasol and Ben McLemore each scored 10, while JaMychal Green had 9 and Dillon Brooks went for 8. All around, Memphis looked good, but they had no answer for LMA. Look for Marc Gasol to play harder hoping to make the difference. And Memphis needs another to step up and make a contribution.
On the Spurs side, Patty Mills had 13 while Tony Parker and Kyle Anderson both scored 10 apiece. Without Aldridge playing as well, the Spurs were at risk of becoming unraveled. Expect Memphis to double-team Aldridge and look to cut off passing lanes forcing the rest of the team to step up. They’ll need more Bryn Forbes on the offense and more Brandon Paul on the defense. It doesn’t hurt that Manu continues to take charges in crunch time. It’d be great to see Joffrey Lauvergne get some minutes against Marc Gasol.
All Shook Up
Sure, we’re only a quarter way through the season, but many franchises, like Memphis, have to face reality: players are experiencing injury, habits are forming, and teams have taken shape. If the Grizzlies can’t regroup and play without their star point guard, then their brilliant season peaked in the first three games only to feel gravity from thereon out. Time to figure it out.
For the Spurs, it is time to define the team without Kawhi Leonard. November has been spent discussing “when Leonard returns”. December must be what it is. Leonard suiting up should no longer be a factor in their success. His return exists in a vacuum. As the third seed in the Western Conference, the Spurs have already taken shape. It’s time to take ownership as well.
Trivia recap: Tonight will be the 26th time Pau and Marc have been pitted against one another on court. Brothers who have played more games against one another:
- Tom and Dick Van Arsdale – 56
- Dominique and Gerald Wilkins - 42
- George and Ed Mikan – 30
- Horace and Harvey Grant - 28
Last Meeting: Spurs by 9.
Vegas Odds: San Antonio by 3.
Game Prediction: Spurs by 6.
For the Grizzly fan’s perspective, visit Grizzly Bear Blues.
As always, Tony must dominate Fisher.
PtR's GameThread will be up this evening for those who want to chat through the game. You can also follow along with the action through PtR's Twitter feed.