Don’t get your hopes up too high for a double-digit win streak, Spurs fans; the upcoming back-to-back is recipe for a slip up if I’ve ever seen one.
After getting a much needed four day rest prior to Wednesday’s win against the Celtics, the Spurs will travel to Memphis on Friday, then back home to face the Cavaliers on Saturday.
Memphis didn’t look too hot out of the gate, but have rattled off four straight road wins heading into Friday. The Grizzlies are getting it together quick, and their big-man attack of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolf could widen the holes already poked in the Spurs’ defense thus far in the season.
This duo is averaging a monstrous 55 points and 23 boards per game, wearing down opposing big men with 11 combined fouls drawn per gam as well. It’s almost as if these guys have figured out how to use their size to their advantage, as if they’re being paid millions of dollars per year to be giant individuals. Go figure.
The Spurs are a great defensive team thus far, but giving up excessive rebounds and points in the paint as been one of the few noticeable problems in their near-perfect season. Despite the post presence that Memphis brings, all signs still point to a Spurs win. They are 5-0 with one day’s rest, beating opponents by an average of 12.2 points per game.
Now comes the possible trap game of Cleveland. The Spurs will be traveling back home directly after flying to Memphis for the day to face the Cavaliers. The Cavs will also be on the second night of a back-to-back, but are surprisingly 2-1 in such game thus far despite their 4-9 record.
Led by Kyrie Irving, the Cavs have shown the tendency to either explode with offense or implode with sloppy ball security and even worse defense. The Spurs should be able to handle all of the Cavs’ imperfections handedly, but if they get caught looking at the standings rather than the raw talent in front of them, Cleveland could run the Spurs out of their own house.
After all, San Antonio’s only loss this season has come on the second of a back-to-back against a very solid Portland team. Cleveland has a very similar repertoire of talent to Portland (at least on paper) with a strong, shooting point guard in Kyrie Irving as well as a possible dominant threat double-threat down low with Tristan Thompson and Andrew Bynum (when healthy).
Don’t be surprised with any outcome from this weekend; whether it be an unprecedented double-loss, a split, or a 10-game win streak, the Spurs still have nothing to worry about.