Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies – Game #41

The San Antonio Spurs will take on the Grizzlies in their next two games and both games will be played in Memphis. The first contest is tonight and the second contest is Wednesday night.

The Spurs have lost four of their last five games but they’re actually playing well right now. In their last outing, San Antonio was without Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell and Jakob Poeltl and nearly beat the Boston Celtics (see the Grades). The Spurs have also suffered close losses to the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks recently and had a win over the Detroit Pistons.

The Grizzlies enter as the NBA’s hottest team. They’ve won six straight games and they now sit on the top of the Western Conference along with the Denver Nuggets with a record of 26-13. Memphis’ offense has been rolling, as they’re averaging 121.7 points per game during their winning streak.

While the Grizzlies are at the top of the West, the Spurs are near the bottom with a record of 13-27. Only the Houston Rockets (10-30) have a worse record in the conference.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Devin Vassell is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery in a couple of days so he obviously remains sidelined. Dominick Barlow, who is on a two-way contract, is with the Austin Spurs of the G League.

Keldon Johnson is questionable for tonight’s game with tightness of his left hamstring. Johnson sat out the second half of the game against the Pistons and then missed the Celtics game entirely.

Jakob Poeltl, who also missed the Celtics game in its entirety, is probable with bursitis of his left achilles.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

We know that head coach Gregg Popovich will start Tre Jones at point guard, Romeo Langford at shooting guard and Jeremy Sochan at power forward.

At small forward, Keldon Johnson will start if he’s able to play. If Johnson sits, expect Keita Bates-Diop to start in his place. At center, Jakob Poeltl will start if he’s healthy. If Poeltl misses the game, Zach Collins will start for the Spurs at center.

Gorgui Dieng Back with the Spurs

After being waived so that the Spurs could complete a complicated trade with the Boston Celtics, San Antonio has re-signed Gorgui Dieng to a ten-day contract. While Dieng doesn’t play much anymore due to being the team’s fourth string center, he’s a leader on the team and someone who serves as a mentor for the younger players.

With the re-signing of Dieng, the Spurs no longer have an open roster spot. They have 15 players under NBA contracts and two players under two-way contracts (Dominick Barlow and Charles Bassey).

Betting Guide: Spurs at Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are favored by 11 points and the over/under is at 238 points. While the Spurs have been overperforming lately, the smart money is on the Grizzlies to win and cover the 11-point spread. Memphis is rolling while San Antonio is just trying to keep their heads above water as they deal with injuries to their best players.