The matchup for tonight's game will be between San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker and Memphis Grizzlies' Mike Conley.
This will be the fourth and final meeting between the two teams this season. In those 3 games, Tony Parker has gotten the best of Conley by averaging 25.6ppg with 7.3apg compared to Conley's 16.3ppg and 6.6apg this series. Parker has been in attack mode against the Grizzlies, a mindset he's had against the team since Memphis dismissed San Antonio in the first round of the 2011 NBA playoffs. With Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, and Manu Ginobili out this game, look for Parker to be aggressive from the start off pick and rolls and in transition.
What Parker must do on offense:
He has to be aggressive off pick and rolls against Memphis tonight, especially with Marc Gasol's abdomen still being questionable. The Grizzlies will be in a very tough situation with either big man in this position. Zach Randolph isn't a defender who plays up on the ball handler in fear of getting beat to the rim without help and Marc Gasol most likely won't look to elevate to block Parker's shot in this instance. Parker's gotten his shots against the Grizzlies in the restricted area where he's shooting 72% (13-18) and in the mid range area where he's shooting 50% (6-12) when Conley is on the floor. Those are shots he has to make tonight where the Grizzlies will keep trying to leave him open without much of a supporting cast due to injuries.
What Parker must do on defense:
Conley has been shooting just 33% (4-12) in the restricted area with Parker covering him, but that's in big part due to Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter's help defense. With Tim Duncan out, whoever is filling in for Duncan likely won't bring the same help to protect the basket. Parker will likely have to keep Conley on the perimeter where he's shot 33% (1-3) against Parker's defense this whole series. Conley is also shooting just 33% (2-6) from the paint area, but Parker will likely have to use much of his legs if he dares Conley to take him off the dribble. The farther the shot he has to take, the more Parker can rest and the Spurs will accept over closer shots.