Spurs vs. Grizzlies: By the Numbers


The San Antonio Spurs beat the Grizzlies 110-103 in overtime to force another game in Memphis.

The Memphis Grizzlies are waiting, eager to play, and wanting to end their playoff series with the Spurs in six games.

The Grizzlies will rely on their youth, toughness and grit and a home crowd that gave them a huge lift in their first two playoff wins at the FedExForum.

The Spurs will use their experience and will power to survive. The playoffs is about hitting big shots, exploiting matchups, and making adjustments on the fly.

But what are the keys for the Spurs and the Grizzlies to win in Game 6? In my opinion, the best way to analyze this series is to go by the numbers.

Let’s check out some stats.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

IN WINS

FG%

OPP FG%

3PT FG%

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

INSIDE PTS.

FSTBRK PTS.

44.9%

43.4%

35.9%

46.5

22.0

9.0

6.0

16.5

41.0

14.5

IN LOSSES

FG%

OPP FG%

3PT FG%

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

INSIDE PTS.

FSTBRK PTS.

42.7%

49.1%

27.0%

41.7

16.0

5.7

5.7

13.3

39.3

13.3

What it means? The most glaring numbers in the Spurs 3 losses are three-point percentage, rebounds, assists and steals. While the 3-ball is an important aspect of the their offense and it’s clear they lived and die by it.

The Spurs best chance to extend this series is to control the boards, share the wealth and play good defense. The Grizzlies did a good job on swarming their perimeter shooters, but if their drive and kick game is on, and they limit the Grizzlies to the low 40′s in field goal percentage they have a good chance.

In another elimination game, the Spurs must try to stretch their bench again, especially if their 3-ball isn’t falling early. The players will still decide the game, but I think coach Gregg Popovich’s ‘in game’ adjustments will be key.

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

IN WINS

FG%

OPP FG%

3PT FG%

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

INSIDE PTS.

FSTBRK PTS.

49.1%

42.7%

45.5%

38.0

22.7

5.7

4.0

11.3

42.0

11.0

IN LOSSES

FG%

OPP FG%

3PT FG%

REB

AST

STL

BLK

TO

INSIDE PTS.

FSTBRK PTS.

43.4%

44.9%

25.0%

48.5

18.0

10.5

6.0

15.0

42.0

13.5

What it means? Surprisingly, the Grizzlies are not winning by controlling the boards or dominating inside the paint. The real difference here is their ability to make shots. Shooting 49 percent from the floor, including 45.5 percent from beyond the arc usually leads to a win.

Will their shots fall in Game 6? If they want to finish the series in Memphis they must. Nonetheless, the Spurs’ defense will have a lot to do with their ability make shots.

Conclusion: Offense has made the Spurs the best team in the West during the regular season. But in this playoffs, it’s their defense that won them games.

In their four NBA championships, playing lockdown defense has been the Spurs’ trademark. Fittingly, they have to use it again to save their season and force another game in San Antonio.

Do you agree with this take? Send your thoughts.

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6 thoughts on “Spurs vs. Grizzlies: By the Numbers

  1. I didn’t know that! I thought the Grizzlies where winning by dominating on the glass and inside points. The Spurs have to D up to win and extend the series once more! Go Spurs Go!

  2. I’m not a fan of stats or stat sheets for that matter, but this is very straight forward. Great Job Robby! Just hoping for another Spurs win!

  3. I agree, defense wins championships but the Spurs should still make their 3-pointers that will make the Grizzlies’ defense weaker on the interior.

  4. I’d believe the Spurs still have it in them. Just play your game Spurs and send this series back to San Antonio! Go Spurs Go!

  5. Numbers don’t lie as I have mentioned, the Spurs has to play defense to stay alive. They allowed the Grizzlies to shoot over 50 percent from the floor that’s why they lost.

    Thanks for the comments and reads. I appreciate it.

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