Game Grades: Spurs 101, Grizzlies 94

By Joe Buettner

A – San Antonio’s Bench

Talk about a big night for the Spurs’ bench players. The group accumulated 53 points with every player off the bench contributing to the box score minus Aron Baynes who did not take a shot during his two minutes of playing time. Worth noting as well, Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw, and Patty Mills hit six-of-nine from beyond the arc, adding to a big night for the Spurs from the perimeter. The starting five had troubles getting things rolling early, but the reserves came in and aided to a 30-7 second quarter performance, putting San Antonio in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game.

B – Kawhi’s Monster Slam

This definitely was above average for young Kawhi, who emphatically threw it down Wednesday night. Major props to Boris Diaw on a clean block that resulted in a big fast break play for #Kawhisenberg, which gave the Spurs a 21-point advantage.

C – The Big Three

It was a rough opener for San Antonio’s Big Three. Tim Duncan left the game early, Tony Parker from time to time looked out of rhythm, but hey, Manu Ginobili looked good! The Argentinian was six-of-nine from the field, contributing 12 points to the winning effort. Tony Parker led the trio with 13 points, but looked to have a few challenges getting to the rim. Granted, that could be due to Memphis’ towering front court putting more pressure than usual on TP9, but regardless, the 2013 EuroBasket MVP has seen better performances.

Now as for Tim Duncan’s first game of the season; it was less than spectacular and it did not get any better when he left the contest with a chest contusion. Right now, Duncan’s status is questionable for Friday night, and this early in the season, there’s no point in risking The Big Fundamental against a Laker’s team with little to no identity. We’ll see how that one goes.

Oct 30, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) shoots while being defended by San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15) during the first half at AT

D – Memphis’ Offense

93 shots the Grizzlies took Wednesday night. They only made 39 of them. It was not an ideal start to the David Joerger era who could not coach Memphis a to a historic franchise win (the Grizzlies are 0-13 in season openers since moving to Memphis). Give credit to the San Antonio defense, they challenged Memphis to take jump shots, and well, that does not really bode well for any one on that squad. The Grizzlies picked things up in the second half, but that glaring 7-point performance in the second quarter ultimately cost them this ball game.

F – Mike Miller

Memories of the NBA Finals surfaced when new Grizzlies forward Mike Miller drained a pair of three balls. Thankfully San Antonio won, and Miller only twisted the knife just a tad more as fans try to forget what happened last June.