The San Antonio Spurs (11-17) will attempt to get back on the right track against the Memphis Grizzlies (11-19). It won’t be an easy task, as the Spurs are 3-9 on the road and the Grizzlies have won three straight games at home.
Oddsmakers, though, believe in the Spurs, as San Antonio is a 1.5-point favorite. That may partially be due to the fact that Grizzlies starting center Jonas Valanciunas is questionable with a foot injury.
In the first meeting between these two teams, the Grizzlies beat the Spurs in San Antonio on the night when Tony Parker’s jersey was put in the rafters. In their 113-109 victory, Jaren Jackson Jr. had 24 points, six rebounds and five assists, while shooting 10-for-17 from the field and 4-for-6 from three-point territory. Dillon Brooks had 21 points, while Valanciunas chipped in with 18 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.
San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup
The Spurs have been starting Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, DeMar DeRozan, Trey Lyles and LaMarcus Aldridge. Considering that lineup just laid an egg in the second half against the Los Angeles Clippers, head coach Gregg Popovich could decide to change it up. If he does, Lyles would be the most likely player to head to the bench.
If Valanciunas plays, Pop may opt to go with Jakob Poeltl in the starting lineup and then slide Aldridge to forward and match up with Jackson.
Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup
The Grizzlies will hope to start Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Jae Crowder, Jackson and Valanciunas. If Valanciunas’ injury is forced out due to injury, expect the Grizzlies to go small. Solomon Hill or Kyle Anderson are the most likely to be elevated to the starting five.
Spurs at Grizzlies – Key Matchup
Morant looks like a star in the making for the Grizzlies and the favorite to win the Rookie of the Year award. The 20-year-old is averaging 18.2 points, 6.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. That said, he struggled last time against the Spurs, shooting 2-for-12 from the floor and tallying just three assists.
This game, the Spurs will try to limit Morant once again. Murray will start off on him, with Derrick White being the second defender San Antonio throws at the rookie out of Murray State.
Spurs at Grizzlies – Prediction
If the Spurs can keep it close, they have the veteran experience to pull out a close win.
San Antonio Spurs – 112
Memphis Grizzlies – 111