Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs: Game 2 Preview

The San Antonio Spurs are five-point favorites against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals tonight in San Antonio. The Spurs destroyed the Grizzlies in Game 1, raining in 14 3-pointers en route to a 105-83 victory. One of Memphis’ best players, forward Zach Randolph, also struggled horribly from the field, missing his first seven shots. If Memphis is going to turn this series around, they’ll need him to be a much more productive factor tonight.

“It’s more frustrating than embarrassing,” said Randolph. “It’s basketball. It happens to the best of them. Muhammad Ali, he got knocked down before. What made him the greatest fighter in the world is he always bounced back.”

“That’s what you do in life. Every time you have a bad moment, you’ve got to bounce back and get up and go again,” coach Lionel Hollins said. “You have a bad day, you’ve got to get up the next morning and make it a good day. Every team has lost games that have been really bad, they’ve lost one-point buzzer-beaters, all of those types of things. If you’re going to be in life and live, you’ve got to get up and go do it again and try to be better.”

The Spurs offense frequently catches teams off guard; based on a machine-like combination of quick cuts, rotations and open shooters, they made Memphis, one of the best defensive teams in the entire league, look slow and flat-footed in Game 1. However, Memphis knows that they can adjust and come back to challenge the Spurs.

“We found out it wasn’t as bad as it looked,” Hollins said. “It was a lot of just out of position, playing with hyper speed and doing things that we don’t normally do because of the moment and not just playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”

“All the things that we did wrong — no pace, no moving the ball, no running back, no communicating — if we do all that good and we are who we are and we lose, now we’re going to see,” center Marc Gasol said. “It’s hard to get a lot of information about that last game because we just played so poorly.”

“We adjust, I think, pretty well to teams and this is no different. We have to come out, make the same adjustments, stick to those adjustments and trust them because this team is so disciplined that they’re not going to stop what they’re doing,” Conley said. “They do what they do very well. They’re the best in the league at it.”

Even though the first game appeared to be lopsided, much of San Antonio’s gaudy box score came from made 3-pointers, and that is a highly variable shot.

“I’m a math guy,” said Spurs shooter Matt Bonner. “It’s highly improbable we’re going to shoot at the clip we did last game. They’ve got the best defense in the league. They’re going to come out and make adjustments and play better on defense for sure.”

I don’t believe Memphis will win this game, but I do like them to cover the spread in a gritty and hard-fought contest. Here are some of the betting trends for both teams heading into tonight’s game, courtesy of OddsShark.com:

Memphis Grizzlies Trends:
When playing on Tuesday are 7-3
Before playing San Antonio are 6-4
After playing San Antonio are 8-2
After a loss are 7-3

San Antonio Spurs Trends:
When playing on Tuesday are 8-2
Before playing Memphis are 5-5
After playing Memphis are 9-1
After a win are 6-4

A few Grizzlies at Spurs trends to consider:
Memphis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Memphis’s last 8 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Memphis’s last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Memphis’s last 9 games when playing San Antonio
San Antonio is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Memphis
San Antonio is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
San Antonio is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Antonio’s last 5 games at home

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