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The Spurs lost 10 of their last 12 games, but it was just enough to get past the Pelicans and Kings and sneak into the play-in tournament. So sneakily that they weren’t even included in the league’s graphic promoting the play-in tournament initially. And unless I’m mistaken, tonight’s game marks the first time this season that the Spurs are playing in a nationally televised game. But despite the lack of attention, the Spurs just have to win one game to keep playing this season.
The Grizzlies have been an improving team this season, and Taylor Jenkins is doing a terrific job with one of the youngest teams in the league. Their one major weakness is outside shooting, which the Warriors exploited by backing off Ja Morant and forcing him to take shots from the perimeter, which he missed badly. But against the Spurs, expect the Memphis pick and roll to be more effective, getting Morant to the paint to either finish or dish to the talented Grizzlies front court, with Jonas Valuciunas and Jaren Jackson Jr. who is still finding his rhythm after missing much of the season with injury.
The Spurs haven’t had two consecutive days off since March 10, except for Monday and Tuesday of this week. With an extra day of preparation, Coach Pop may put in a few wrinkles into the game plan, but mostly the team needs better execution on defense and fast breaks. I don’t think all of that can be fixed in one day of practice, but after today, they could have several months to work on it. Or not, because if they win tonight, they will play another game on Friday, against the loser of the Warriors/Lakers game which is being played right after this one. Look for a great night from DeMar DeRozan tonight in what might be his last game wearing the Silver and Black.
It was a surprise when the Hulk tossed the bear, just a moment ago, Bruce Banner was there. It was amazing, a hell of a throw, and I think I heard him say, “Hulk smash! Go Spurs Go!”
One final word:
Go Spurs GOOOOOO!!
San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies
May 19, 2021 | 6:30 PM CT
Streaming: NBA League Pass [delayed replay only]
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