Game 4 Preview: Grizzlies vs. Spurs
The Memphis Grizzlies took a 2-1 series lead on Saturday night with their first ever playoff win at home, and they’ll look to take a commanding edge tonight when they face the San Antonio Spurs. The Grizzlies played their style of game Saturday night, pumping the ball inside to Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, and they’ll want to employ a similar strategy tonight against the Spurs. The Grizzlies interior duo have proved to be too much in this series for the Spurs if both get going. Grizzlies have to be prepared from a focused effort early from the Spurs, who do not want to go back to San Antonio down 3-1 with the possibility of a major upset staring them directly in the face. The Spurs will try to make a statement early on in this contest, and if Memphis can withstand an early San Antonio push they could put themselves in a very favorable position by the time the final buzzer sounds. The Spurs will likely send Tony Parker on multiple forays to the basket with their three-point shooters ready to catch and shoot at any time. In Game 2 the Spurs didn’t connect on a single three-pointer in the first half and ended up tied with the Grizzlies in that category at the end of the game. If the Grizzlies can keep San Antonio from getting hot from behind the arc in Game 4 like they have for much of the series they will have a good chance at another victory tonight. The atmosphere at FedExForum was electric Saturday night, and the fans in attendance can expect to have their Growl Towels waving again tonight.
Here are a few things to watch for in tonight’s contest…
Matchup of the night: The matchup to keep an eye on tonight is definitely at the point guard spot, where Mike Conley has played Tony Parker to a relative standstill. Conley is playing his best all-around basketball of his career in this series, averaging 14.0 points, 7.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds compared to 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists for Parker. Most importantly, Conley is holding Parker to .341 from the field. Parker is perennially amongst the best shooting perimeter players in the league because of his ability to get to the rim for high percentage shots. If Conley and the Grizzlies keep him below .400 again tonight they could very well be taking a 3-1 series lead to San Antonio.
Stat of the night: The fact that the Grizzlies hold a 2-1 series lead over the San Antonio Spurs bodes very well for the chances of the Grizzlies advancing to the second round of the postseason. In NBA playoff history the team that goes up 2-1 in a seven game series has gone on to win the series 76 percent of the time.
Catch the game on FOX Sports Tennessee: Check out the broadcast satellite listings or listen on Soul Classics 103.5FM.