Pau Gasol called tonight’s game versus the Memphis Grizzlies a “must win,” and Manu Ginobili stated that the Spurs were aiming to just make the playoffs. What universe is this that the San Antonio Spurs have lost 8 of their last 10 games and have dropped to 6th in the Western Conference standings, just one loss from missing the 8th seed? It is the current state of the Spurs’ season that the game against the team with the league’s worst schedule has become this important. With one of the hardest schedules left, games like the one tonight are definitely “must win.”
San Antonio Spurs (36-27) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (18-44)
March 5, 2018 | 7:30 pm CDT
Watch: FSSW; Listen: 1200 AM WOAI
Spurs injuries: Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management - out), LaMarcus Aldridge (ankle - questionable)
Grizzlies injuries: Mike Conley (heel - out), Mario Chalmers (hamstring - out), Tyreke Evans (ribs - out), Andrew Harrison (wrist - out), Marc Gasol (ankle/quad - questionable), Deyonta Davis (ankle - questionable), Jarell Martin (knee - probable),
Finding the Bright Past
In the last meeting between the Spurs and Grizzlies, the silver and black were missing Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gay, and Manu Ginobili due to injury and LaMarcus Aldridge sat out for rest. The team pulled together and put forth a convincing win, dishing out 29 assists on 38 made field goals and 8 Spurs tallied points in the double digits. They will need to repeat this performance tonight and hopefully the addition of Rudy Gay and Manu Ginobili will help. Gay contributed 15 points (including 2 threes) and 8 rebounds.
Manu put up another #StillManu performance against the Lakers on Saturday night with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. His three-pointer was cold, but Manu contributed with his energy - even getting a steal. He did leave the game briefly after taking a shot to the chest (which was scary, especially after taking a monster charge).
Finding the Good in the Bad
The Grizzlies are almost openly tanking this season (much to the dismay of Marc Gasol), but over the last few games, they have had some bright spots to point at. JaMychal Green (who has put up great games against the Spurs in the past) recorded 7 assists and 13 rebounds against the Magic on Saturday night. Rookie Kobi Simmons has been seeing some good minutes with the injuries to Harrison and Mike Conley and he has been taking advantage of that time (going 6 of 9 from the field and contributing 14 points in Saturday’s game). Simmons also had a Kawhi-like steal and dunk.
Consider your pocket, picked. pic.twitter.com/NqC7eIsPS3— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) March 4, 2018
The Spurs have dominated the season series through three games (11/29: 104-95, 12/1: 95-79, 1/24: 108-85).
Vegas line: Spurs by 4.5.
Game prediction: Spurs by 10.
For the Memphis fans’ 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.