SAN ANTONIO SPURS (63-21)
at MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (43-41)
Tip-off: Thursday, 9:30 p.m. ET
Line: San Antonio -3.5, Total: 185.0
The Grizzlies will be hoping to get back into this series with a win in Game 3 on Thursday.
San Antonio has been dominant in this series, as the Spurs won Games 1 and 2 by an average of 21.5 points. The Grizzlies did cut the Spurs’ lead to five points late in Game 2, but they were down big for most of that contest. Memphis is going to really need to dig in and make sure that the game is closer in the first half. Playing at FedExForum should help that a little bit, but the Spurs have had success their in the past. Over the past three years, San Antonio is 5-3 SU and 4-4 ATS when playing in Memphis. The Spurs are also an impressive 14-4 SU and 10-8 ATS when playing the Grizzlies overall in that span. One trend that stands out when looking at this game is the fact that the Grizzlies are 1-12 ATS when playing with two days rest under head coach David Fizdale. Memphis is also 3-14 ATS after a division game under Fizdale. The Grizzlies are, however, an impressive 12-2 ATS in home games off a road loss by 10 points or more over the past two seasons. They’re also 32-18 ATS off a road loss over the past two seasons as well. SG Tony Allen (Leg) remains out for the Grizzlies, and they are really missing him.
The Spurs are taking it to the Grizzlies in this series and SF Kawhi Leonard (34.5 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.0 SPG in playoffs) is a huge reason for that. Leonard has been absolutely dominant offensively so far, scoring 69 points on a total of 28 shots. That type of efficiency is really unheard of in today’s NBA, and Leonard will be hoping to keep it up as this series moves to Memphis. One thing he’d be wise to continue doing is attack the basket, as he has shot 28 free throws over the past two games. It’s also worth noting that he hasn’t missed a single one. One guy that the Spurs can use some more from in this series is PF LaMarcus Aldridge (15.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG in playoffs). Aldridge is shooting just 42.3% from the floor in this series, and he is going to be a lot more important in Memphis. These road games are going to be a grind for the Spurs, and they’ll need somebody like Aldridge that can get easy buckets around the rim. He does, however, need to be a bit more aggressive, as he has taken just 26 shots in the entire series thus far.
If the Grizzlies are going to get back into the win column then both PG Mike Conley (18.5 PPG, 7.5 APG, 2.0 SPG in playoffs) and C Marc Gasol (22.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.0 BPG in playoffs) are going to need to catch fire in this one. Memphis does not have enough around them for the two of them to struggle, and that is exactly what they have done in this series so far. Conley has been especially miserable, shooting just 40.0% from the floor. He shot 45.9% from the field during the regular season, and the Grizzlies need him to get back to that number moving forward. Gasol hasn’t been great either, as he was just 4-for-15 from the floor in Game 2. He also has only 11 rebounds in the series thus far. If he cannot finish around the rim and hold his own on the glass then this will likely be a 3-0 series when the final buzzer sounds. Take that for data.