The San Antonio Spurs will host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night at the AT&T Center down 1-3.
Facing elimination, the Spurs must do all they can to win Game 5 and force another game in Memphis.
But it won’t be easy. The Grizzlies proved to be tougher, more physical and more aggressive in their first four outings.
It’s not just about discovering a new way to run the plays and make shots. It’s about finding a way to match the Grizzlies youthful exuberance and energy.
That is why the Spurs should try to go out of their comfort zone and coach Gregg Popovich should be more creative.
Starting with shuffling the lineup.
It’s clear that Richard Jefferson is not fitting in with the Spurs, he’s struggling in this playoffs. In four games, he is averaging 8.3 points and 4.8 rebounds on 45.5 percent shooting from the floor and was scoreless in 27 minutes in Game 4.
Why not try to bring George Hill into the starting lineup?
He is more productive than Jefferson this post season and definitely a better defender. Hill is averaging 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.8 steals in four games off the bench.
And he proved in the past that he can play more effectively in a starting role.
In this post season so far, their shots isn’t falling from behind the arc, They have struggled because of Memphis’ great perimeter defense.
It’s not a stretch to say that they have live and died using the 3-ball in the first four games.
And it’s important to note that in their four NBA championships, suffocating defense became their trademark.
Why not use defense in lieu of offense?
Hill is definitely an upgrade over Jefferson as a perimeter defender. Putting Jefferson off the bench in such an important game could also lit a fire under him and who knows he might be more effective playing with the second unit.
Another lineup change could be giving more minutes to Tiago Splitter. In his only game in the playoffs, he proved he can deliver. He helped on interior defense and provided some needed rebounding.
Matt Bonner should sit unless he shoots the 3-ball like he did in the regular season. With all due respect to Bonner, Gary Neal’s quick release seems to be more effective against the Grizzlies.
Put it this way, in desperate times, they must try to change what isn’t working and giving more premium on defense could be the answer.
These are some suggestions that could help them to get back in this series. It could back fire or it might work.
With their backs against the wall, and the season on the line, the Spurs must try everything.
Throw a chair or the dinning table or even the kitchen sink if they must, just to beat the Grizzlies and live another day.
Do you agree with the lineup changes? Will this help the Spurs win Game 5? Send your thoughts.