On Friday night the San Antonio Spurs (13-5) will look to rebound from a 95-93 loss to Brooklyn in overtime. They take on the Memphis Grizzlies (15-3) at the FedExForum. The Grizzlies are 8-0 at home this season.
Tiago Splitter has been ruled out with tightness in his right calf. Marc Gasol (bone bruise) is questionable for the contest. Gasol has been one of the best players in the league so far this season. He is averaging 19.4 points, 8 rebounds and 3.6 assists this season. If Gasol can’t give it a go, the Grizzlies will struggle despite being at home.
Below are a few keys for the Spurs to beat Memphis.
-Feed Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard should have a good game despite going up against arguably the best defender in the league, in Tony Allen. As he showed in the postseason when making Kevin Durant struggle, that being 6″5 isn’t a disadvantage for a talented defender like himself. I believe Leonard will play well because he has gotten more consistent offensively and Allen won’t play more than 30 minutes. Allen has only played more than 25 minutes in two of the last six games he suited up for. Expect an 18 point and 8 rebound guy from Leonard.
When you play a team with the defensive prowess that Memphis has, hitting the three is a must, especially on the road. The Grizzlies are second in the league in points allowed (93.1). The Spurs are heating up from deep as they are now at 37% on the season. They have hit nine or more threes in each of their past four games. In order for the Spurs to have a good chance to win the game, they must hit at least seven treys.
-Limit Mike Conley
One thing is for sure Mike Conley enjoys playing the San Antonio Spurs. Last season in four games against the Spurs, Conley averaged 22.5 points and 5.5 assists. He also shot 54% from the field. It’s up to Tony Parker and the rest of the Spurs to contain a player that his given them problems. Letting Conley go for 16 points and 6 assists, his season averages is a win for the Spurs.