Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Memphis Grizzlies – Game #70

The San Antonio Spurs play the second to last game of their six-game homestand tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies. In their first four games at the AT&T Center, the Spurs are 2-2. On the season, San Antonio has a record of 18-51. The Grizzlies enter the contest with a record of 41-27, which currently ranks them as the third seed in the Western Conference.

The Grizzlies have won three of their last four games but they’re coming off of a 138-119 loss in Miami against the Heat. Memphis has been able to stay afloat despite being without superstar Ja Morant since March 3rd after he flashed a gun on a live video on social media. The NBA ended up suspending Morant for eight games for conduct detrimental to the league. He’s eligible to return to the Grizzlies on Monday.

Without Morant, the Grizzlies rely on sharpshooter Desmond Bane and defensive ace Jaren Jackson Jr. Bane is averaging 21.1 points and is shooting 40.7% on seven three-point attempts per game. Jackson, the son of the former Spurs champion, is averaging 17.0 points along with 3.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game.

The Spurs will have both of their leading scorers tonight. While Keldon Johnson (21.7 points per game) and Devin Vassell (18.4 points per game) have missed time recently due to injuries, both are active against the Grizzlies.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

Head coach Gregg Popovich will have most of his big guns back in the lineup tonight but will still be missing a couple key pieces. Devonte’ Graham, who has averaged 15.5 points since being traded to the Spurs at the deadline, is out with quad soreness. Langford, who had 17 points in 21 minutes against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night (see the Grades), is out with adductor soreness.

Keita Bates-Diop is questionable tonight with left achilles soreness. Additionally, centers Charles Bassey and Khem Birch are likely out for the rest of the season due to knee injuries, while Julian Champagnie is currently with the Austin Spurs in the G League. 

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

The starting lineup for the Spurs will most likely be Zach Collins at center, Jeremy Sochan at power forward, Keldon Johnson at small forward, Devin Vassell at shooting guard and Tre Jones at point guard. Going forward, this will likely be Popovich’s preferred starting five. If healthy, expect to see a lot of this lineup in the season’s final dozen games.

Off the bench, expect to see rookies Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley, along with Doug McDermott and Sandro Mamukelashvili. 

Betting Guide: Spurs vs. Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are favored by 8.5 points and the over/under is set at 234 points. The smart money tonight is on the Grizzlies winning by 9 or more points. Yes, Memphis is without Ja Morant, but they remain a deep, talented squad even without their superstar point guard. While the Spurs are relatively healthy, the Grizzlies are motivated to win as many games as possible to improve their playoff positioning.