After an incredibly well-contested loss to the league-leading Boston Celtics, the San Antonio Spurs are looking for a way back into the win column going into a tilt with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Normally, that’s not a match-up that would bode well for the Spurs as of late, but the basketball gods appear to have thrown the Spurs a break in the form of three absent starters, including the incendiary Ja Morant.
Outside of that, the Grizzlies have been on a tear, entering the contest on a six game winning streak, sporting a top 10 scoring offense, the 2nd best defensive rating, and the 3rd best net rating, so the Spurs need every break they can get.
Unfortunately it looks as though the Spurs will also be missing three of the their best players (lest fortune shine too brightly in the lottery cellar), so it’ll be up to the rest of the team to carry the weight against the formidable Memphis roster.
Still, hope springs eternal in the wake of an outstanding performance against the league’s most complete team, so there’s no knowing for sure which version of this Spurs team will show up against a Memphis team that may or may not be taking them terribly seriously.
January 9th, 2023 | 7:00 PM CT
Watch: Bally Sports Southwest| Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
Spurs Injuries: Devin Vassell - Out (Knee), Jakob Poeltl - Out (Achilles), Keldon Johnson - Questionable (Hamstring)
Memphis Injuries: Danny Green - Out (Knee), Brandon Clarke - Out (Hip), Steven Adams - Out (Illness), Ja Morant - Out (Thigh)
What to watch for:
- Jones on Jones Crime - Two players who definitely will be playing, are Tre and Tyus Jones. Both players are still among the most efficient ball-handlers and distributors in the league while seeing increased usage, and upping their scoring averages. However, Tre Jones’ advanced statistics point to a degree of superiority (Jones’s RAPTOR score is higher than Chris Paul, Derrick White, De’Aaron Fox, Dejounte Murray, and Ben Simmons) that has yet to show itself when the brothers face off against each other. With Morant out, it’ll be interesting to see which one can work up an advantage against the other, and with so many players out for both teams, it will likely be a big part of determining the outcome, putting this little tête-à-tête at the forefront of the contest.
For the Memphis’ fans’ perspective, visit Grizzly Bear Blues.
PtR’s Game thread 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.