The San Antonio Spurs will be facing the Memphis Grizzlies in their first game of the play-in tournament. With a young star like Ja Morant already becoming such an important component of a rising Grizzlies team, it's very easy for teams to revolve their entire gameplan around him, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. These teams think stopping Morant is the key to securing a win against the Grizzlies.
While there's definitely some truth to this, in reality, the Grizzlies have several weapons that can easily make a significant impact on games. Securing a win against the Grizzlies in the Spurs' first play-in game will take far more than forcing Ja Morant into uncomfortable situations.
Notably, on the offensive end of the floor, the Spurs will have to come out confident and swinging against the Grizzlies' seventh-ranked defense in the league, much like they did in their season opener against them back in December. My play-in-game preview for Wednesday's game lays out exactly who needs to do what for the Spurs on offense to secure the win.
Here, I'll be focusing on what needs to happen on the defensive end of the floor for the Spurs other than the obvious goal of limiting Ja Morant as much as possible. Specifically, the keys to making it to the second play-in game for the Spurs will be to properly defend the Grizzlies frontcourt and force contested shots -- or no shots at all -- from their best outside shooters. The San Antonio Spurs will need to look out for these four players in particular on Wednesday.