By: Christian Dudley (@ChristianDudley)
Today marks the opening day of the 2017 NBA Playoffs and the Memphis Grizzlies face the San Antonio Spurs at 7:00 PM CT. Blu3 World Order has all the stats you need to know prior to the tipoff in Game 1!
It looks to be an epic series brewing between the Memphis Grizzlies (43-39) and their Southwest Division arch-nemesis, the San Antonio Spurs (61-21).
What should you know prior to the opening tip this evening? Catch up to speed with our statistical rundown of the head-to-head matchup directly below!
The Spurs and Grizzlies tied in their regular season series 2-2.
Of the four regular season meetings between these two clubs in 2016-17, the results were as follows:
-February 6th @ Memphis: Grizzlies 89, Spurs 74 (without Kawhi Leonard and Pau Gasol)
-March 18th @ Memphis: Grizzlies 104, Spurs 96
-March 23rd @ San Antonio: Grizzlies 90, Spurs 97
-April 4th @ San Antonio: Grizzlies 89, Spurs 95 in Overtime
Surprisingly enough, the Grizzlies have posted very similar stats across the board in all four games versus the Spurs. It almost looks as if the outcomes are completely by chance or someone is tossing a coin and calling heads or tails. That probably perfectly describes this upcoming series.
In the two victories for the Memphis Grizzlies, they have grabbed an average of 42.5 rebounds, sustained just 11.5 turnovers, created 19.0 assists, forced 7.5 steals, swatted 7.0 blocks, and contributed 40.0 bench points.
In Memphis' two losses, they have corralled an average of 40.5 rebounds, 14.0 turnovers, 22.0 assists, 6.5 steals, 3.0 blocks, and 38.0 bench points per contest. Not all has been bad for the Grizz in their losses, which is somewhat shocking.
For the San Antonio Spurs, when they have faced Memphis in 2016-17, they have averaged three more rebounds in wins than losses, yet they average three more offensive rebounds in their losses than in their two victories.
San Antonio's rebounding department is really where the game can go either way, but in most other areas, you can decipher their wins and losses versus Memphis by glancing at the stat sheet.
In their two wins, the Spurs have averaged 5.0 less turnovers, shot the basketball with nearly five percent better accuracy overall, produced 5.5 more assists, but most importantly, shot the rock 12.76% better from three-point land. Memphis absolutely cannot allow good looks from the perimeter because San Antonio has the potential to burn you from deep.
If there is one area where the Grizzlies can really pull ahead of the Spurs, it is in the bench production category. If M-Town can make noise with their second unit, their chances of creating the upset will become very realistic. Otherwise, these two teams look almost identical on paper. San Antonio may be the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, but the seventh-seeded Grizzlies look mighty fine.
The Spurs are currently favored by 9.5 points over the Grizz in Game 1. The large margin is primarily due to Memphis' loss of Tony Allen to injury (strained right calf muscle).
Zach Randolph paced the Memphis Grizzlies in double-doubles (20) in the regular season, despite being placed into a new role of Sixth Man.
Memphis Grizzlies | San Antonio Spurs
Point guard: Mike Conley | Tony Parker
Shooting guard: Wayne Selden, Jr. | Jonathan Simmons
Small forward: Vince Carter | Kawhi Leonard
Power forward: JaMychal Green | LaMarcus Aldridge
Center: Marc Gasol | DeWayne Dedmon
Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Game Time: 7:00 PM CT
National Television: ESPN
Local Television: Fox Sports Grizzlies w/ Pete Pranica & crew
Join Blu3WorldOrder.com at Don Don Jr's Hot Wings in Memphis for a playoff watch party!