After a loss in overtime to the Dallas Mavericks, the San Antonio Spurs (12-9) will face the Memphis Grizzlies (10-9) tonight in Memphis as the Spurs hope to snap their two-game losing streak and find some success on the road.
The last time these two team met was earlier this season as San Antonio won 95-82 in San Antonio. Manu Ginobili paced the Spurs with 24 points while Rudy Gay posted a double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) for the Grizzlies.
However, tonight Memphis will be without the services of Zach Randolph who is nursing a torn right MCL and San Antonio will still be without guards Ginobili (fractured hand) and T.J. Ford (hamstring). Not to mention both teams are entering tonight's content losing their previous game (Memphis lost to Phoenix).
But as the Spurs get ready to face their division foe, here are five things to watch for in tonight's matchup.
- It's a good thing the Spurs' record is above .500. Memphis is 3-7 against teams with winning records.
- Memphis is holding their heads above water while Randolph is out of action. The Grizzlies are 9-6 since Randolph has been nursing a torn right MCL.
- Might not want to let O.J. Mayo get hot from behind the arch. Mayo is shooting a career-high 41% from downtown.
- So Marc Gasol might be a problem as usual. Gasol won his first career NBA Player of the Week Award for the week of January 16 averaging 19.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 blocks on .673 shooting in 36.3 minutes helping Memphis to a 4-0 stretch.
- Memphis can get hot early. Memphis shot above .600 in the first half in three-straight games from January 16-20 becoming the first NBA team to has such a streak since the Clippers did so last season.
The spurs defeated the grizzlies without Randolph and Arthur. What bothers me is the tendency of the coach from insisting on using a guy who is clearly not performing. I speak of Neal. Could be his off night or simply exhausted after last night. Why not expand the rotation? Use Anderson. He was playing well last night, passing, rebounding and shooting. Give the guy a break or waive him. Has Pops forgotten Scola and Mahinmi? Short memory!
If the spurs will be using the same first five, they lose. Better use the role p[layers like last night.