These 10 Simple Tricks Can Help the Grizzlies Beat the Spurs

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These 10 Simple Tricks Can Help the Grizzlies Beat the Spurs – 2017 NBA Playoffs Round 1 Preview

Let’s get weird. 


It seems like we just did this last year…oh wait, we did.


And my series preview last year was vastly different than what I’m about to present here, in both style and substance.

Last year, I (correctly) called the series – Spurs in 4, and that it would be a mercy killing. The outcome was inevitable from the outset.

However, that knowledge did absolutely nothing to alleviate the pain and disappointment of having to watch that series. After the end of Game 4, the mood was a bit like the ending of Old Yeller.


For one brief moment, we were all Crying Joerger


But that was last year.

Let’s pretend this never happened.


This year, a winning outcome for the Grizzlies in a 7-game series against the Spurs might seem improbable, but it’s not impossible.

If the Grizzlies can manage to drag the series out to 6 or 7 games, I think there is a marginal chance Memphis can advance to second round.

And if not, the Spurs will definitely be feeling the effects of a grizzly bear mauling as they advance to the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

So how do we manage this miraculous feat, how do we win?

I’m glad you asked, because it just so happens I’ve got a few ideas. 


Well, let us say inexplicable. There is no point in using the word “impossible” to describe something that has clearly happened. – Dirk Gently


These 10 Simple Tricks Can Help the Grizzlies Beat the Spurs

Several of these are self-explanatory, or should be. 
1. Stop Kawhi Leonard
Or if not stop, at least keep him somewhat contained. In the last meeting between these two teams, Wayne Selden showed he’s got the defensive chops to make things unpleasant for the former Finals MVP. Selden should take some of the sting off Tony Allen being consigned to the injured list. Leonard is far from the only threat on the Spurs roster, but he’s easily the one to be most concerned with.
2. No Duncan? Mo’ Problems

San Antonio hasn’t been to the playoffs without Tim Duncan since the Clinton Administration. I don’t believe the Spurs have felt the full weight of Duncan’s absence yet, but I think they are about to. Exploit this whenever possible. 

The Spurs have long been a thorn in the Grizzlies side, and a proverbial monkey on their back over the last several seasons. Tim Duncan unarguably played a leading role in making San Antonio such a force to be reckoned with over the years.
But this current Grizzlies squad? They don’t seem to be afraid of the big, bad, Spurs anymore. The team earned some much needed confidence over the course of the regular season, at least where the Spurs are concerned.
I can’t quite put my finger on the exact reason – the combination of a new coaching staff, better supporting roster, splitting the season series?
I’m not much of a gambler, but I would lay money that the absence of Tim Duncan factors in somewhere too.
Whatever the reason(s) behind it, one thing is certain: This Memphis team isn’t nearly as shook by the Spurs as they used to be. 
3. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol Need to Be a Consistent Force

This should require no further explanation.

Memphis needs BeastMode Big Spain.

4. Defend Without Fouling
Especially fouling a man outside the perimeter. Don’t do that.
5. Our Vets > Their Vets, Our Bench > Their Bench

It’s not enough for the Grizzlies starters to bring their collective A-games, the bench mob is going to have to be ready to go hard as well.

If all else fails, throw it to the hand. Zach Randolph isn’t a strong candidate for 6th man of the year for no reason.
6. Attack the Glass on Both Ends of the Court
7. Grizz Cubs Must Step Up

Coach Fizdale has utilized the team’s younger players throughout the season, giving them some run during games against some of the league’s strongest contenders. At times to the dismay of much of the fan base and media.

Time for a pop quiz, and this time it’s for all the marbles.

Time to show everyone what you’ve learned. 

8. Make Your Free Throws

Please. For the love of all that is good and holy in this world.

Make. Your. Free. Throws. 

Pete wants you to make your free throws. 


9. Don’t Quit on Plays


10. Be Hungry, Stay Engaged


“Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot. Take thou what course thou wilt.”
― William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar




And because I’m a fan of data presented in an efficient and aesthetically pleasing manner,
I’m just going to leave these right here. 


Here’s a breakdown of the regular season numbers for each team.


Here’s a breakdown of the regular season series.



Aimee Stiegemeyer
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