San Antonio Spurs News

Who should the San Antonio Spurs want to meet in the play-in?

Stephen Curry, Kyle Anderson
Stephen Curry, Kyle Anderson / Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Ja Morant, Draymond Green / Justin Ford/Getty Images

How the San Antonio Spurs stack up with the Memphis Grizzlies

The tale of the tape against the Memphis Grizzlies isn't pretty. Before I jump into how head-to-head matchups went this season, let's take a look at where both teams stand on both ends of the floor as of Friday morning (information from Basketball Reference).

San Antonio Spurs
Offensive Rating: 111.1 (19th)
Offensive PPG: 111.1 (20th)
Defensive Rating: 112.4 (15th)
Opponents' PPG: 112.3 (17th)

Memphis Grizzlies
Offensive Rating: 112.3 (14th)
Offensive PPG: 113.6 (12th)
Defensive Rating: 111.1 (7th)
Opponents' PPG: 112.3 (tied w/ SA)

The Grizzlies have a clear advantage from both ends of the floor when going by the data alone. The number that jumps out most right away is how Memphis boasts the seventh-best defensive rating in the league. While they don't have a dominant shot-blocker (only Jaren Jackson Jr. is averaging over one block per game and he's played 10 times), they're stacked with tough-nosed team defenders.

Former Spur Kyle Anderson and Jonas Valanciunas lead the team with impressive defensive win-shares of 2.7 and 2.6 respectively, but guys like Brandon Clarke and Dillon Brooks aren't far behind.

Offensively, neither team is over-reliant on the threeball, with Memphis' 31.4 attempts ranking 23rd and San Antonio's 28.5 coming in dead last. The Grizzlies shoot a slightly better overall percentage from the floor, 46.8 percent to 46.2 percent.

Season Series Review

Dec. 23, 2020: Spurs def. Grizzlies 131-119
Leading scorers: DeMar DeRozan (28), Ja Morant (44)

Jan. 30, 2021: Grizzlies def. Spurs 129-112
Leading scorers: Derrick White (18), De'Anthony Melton (20)

Feb. 1, 2021: Grizzlies def. Spurs 133-102
Leading scorers: Keldon Johnson (25), Gorgui Dieng (19)

Matchup Assessment

The bad news? Roster-wise, the Memphis Grizzlies overmatch the Spurs. Their depth was on full display in the last meeting of the season, where nine of the team's 10 guys that played that day finished in double figures.

The good news? It's only one game, and the Spurs have shown they can beat anyone on a given night. Also, all three games were played when LaMarcus Aldridge was still starting and allowing countless blow-bys and perimeter shots from the young Grizzlies.

Ultimately, this one might come down to who has a hotter night from the outside, as the team that shot it better won all three matchups this season.

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