Preview and Prediction: San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies

The San Antonio Spurs (16-20) will try to build upon their great victories over the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics tonight when they play the Memphis Grizzlies (16-22). This is the second stop in San Antonio’s four-game road trip. After the Grizzlies game, the Spurs face two Eastern Conference teams: the Toronto Raptors on Sunday and the Miami Heat on Wednesday.

The Grizzlies Seeking Revenge

Just like the Spurs wanted revenge against the Celtics, the Grizzlies will be looking for revenge tonight against the Spurs. Back on December 23rd, San Antonio went to Memphis and bludgeoned the home team by a final score of 145-115. In that game, LaMarcus Aldridge had 40 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks, while DeMar DeRozan totaled 26 points and ten assists on 10-for-11 shooting from the field.

Can the Spurs beat the Grizzlies once again in Memphis? You can bet that the home team will be motivated to stop that from happening.

DeMar DeRozan Blazing Hot for the Spurs

DeRozan has played extraordinarily well over his last nine games. In that period of time, he’s averaging 26.2 points and 5.3 assists on 64.1% shooting from the field and 88.9% at the free throw line. While he’s one of the few Spurs players not attempting three-pointers often, he’s been getting to the paint consistently and his mid-range jumper has been nearly automatic as of late.

Both Teams Streaking in the Right Direction

The Spurs have two momentous wins in a row — but the Grizzlies, too, are playing really well. They’ve won three straight games. Included in that stretch is a destruction of the Clippers in Los Angeles. Since the Spurs beat the Grizzlies last month, Memphis has gone 5-2 — with their only two losses on the road.

To compare, the last time the Spurs had a three-game winning streak this season was when they started the season 3-0. San Antonio is hoping to change that this evening.

Spurs at Grizzlies – Key Matchup

Grizzlies rookie point guard sensation Ja Morant appears to be well on his way to becoming a certified star. The 20-year-old is averaging 17.8 points and 6.6 assists on 48.5% shooting from the floor, 39.7% from three-point range and 79.7% at the line. In his last four games, those numbers are up to 20.8 points and 7.5 assists, while shooting 63.3% from the floor, 40.0% on threes and 85.0% from the line.

The Spurs will start Dejounte Murray defending against Morant. Murray is going to have to stay focused and use his length to bother the rookie. Derrick White is the other player who will also spend time guarding Morant.

Prediction: Spurs at Grizzlies

Oddsmakers see this game as a toss-up. I’ll give the slight edge to the Spurs, who have looked like a completely different team in their last 96 minutes of basketball.

San Antonio Spurs – 115
Memphis Grizzlies – 112