Monday night everything that you could want from the Spurs during this trying season. They hung with the Ja Morant-less Grizzlies all night when the two teams met in Memphis Monday, holding their own on offense against the league’s best defense and even taking the lead at one point in the fourth before the Grizzlies were able to wrest back momentum. Even playing without their 2 best players, the Spurs showed up and competed for the full 48 and while no one expected the Spurs to win many games this year, Pop’s crew is still getting up to play and turning out gems like Monday’s game.
With Morant set to potentially miss a third straight game with a thigh injury, the Spurs will have another chance at playing spoiler to a Memphis team that is hoping to make a run this spring.
San Antonio Spurs (13-28) vs Memphis Grizzlies (27-14)
January 11, 2023 | 7:00 PM CT
Watch: BSSE | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spurs Injuries: Devin Vassell (knee - OUT), Keldon Johnson (day to day)
Grizzlies Injuries: Ja Morant (day to day), Danny Green (OUT), Brandon Clarke (knee - OUT)
What to watch for
- The Spurs, who have the worst defense in the league based on defensive rating, gave up 72 points in the first half to Memphis on Monday night. They fell behind double digits to begin the game and spent the rest of the night playing catch-up. A good, clean start to the game is key if the Spurs hope to pull off an upset on their way out of Memphis.
- “The Battle of the Brothers, Round 2,” kicks off tonight, as Tre Jones has another chance this week to try outscore his big brother Tyus. The elder Jones , who has been getting the starting nod for Memphis with Morant sidelined, won the first battle with 24 points compared to 18 for Tre.
- Spurs rookie Jeremy Sochan had a rough shooting night in the first game, going just 2/11, but it was yet another fascinating night watching him. On more than one occassion, it appeared as though Sochan was trying to throw down a slam on Memphis’ Jaren Jackson Jr. Perhaps tonight he’ll actually get one of those attempts to go in over JJJ, who is currently the league leader in blocks per game. Jackson finished with 5 blocks against the Spurs on Monday night.
- Another one of the Spurs’ rookies, Malaki Branham. has scored in double figures in 3 consecutive games. The 19 year old guard hopefully has a long NBA journey ahead of him, but he seems to be getting comfortable with putting the ball on the floor and getting shots up 3 months into his first NBA season. Check out PtR’s Noah Magaro-George’s latest film breakdown on Branham ahead of tonight’s game:
- Steven Adams, who somehow is still not 30 years old, led all players with 15 rebounds Monday night. Adams is averaging a career-best 11 rebounds a game in his 10th season in the league, ranking just outside the top 5 in the NBA this season.
For the Grizzlies fan’s perspective, please visit Grizzly Bear Blues.
If you’d like to, you may follow along with the game on our Twitter profile (@poundingtherock) or visit our Game Thread!