game 4 between the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies was highly entertaining, going into overtime and being decided by a game-winning shot from Marc Gasol. Kawhi Leonard displayed an MVP-type performance, scoring the team’s last 16 points in regulation and finishing with 43 points, but it wasn’t enough as Mike Conley poured in 35 points of his own to help his team tie the series.

With the series swinging back to San Antonio all tied up at two, the intensity will be at its highest in Game 5. It has turned into a three-game series between these two physical, defensive teams, and Game 5 promises to be thrilling.

Defense will be key for both teams

Both of these teams are defensive-minded and are going to rely heavily on that end of the floor. It has been a physical series thus far, and it is going to come down to whichever team can get stops down the stretch. In Game 4, the Grizzlies were unable to stop Leonard in the final four minutes of regulation, which is why the Spurs were able to overcome an eight-point deficit to extend to overtime. In the regular season, the Spurs had the best defense in the league, while the Grizzlies owned the seventh best defense.

Bench scoring

Bench scoring is going to be essential in this game. While the Spurs have a deeper bench, they only received 17 points total from their second unit in Game 4.

JaMychal Green outperformed everyone from San Antonio’s bench. Manu Ginobili is still scoreless in this series, which is highly unexpected from the 14-year veteran. If the Spurs can get any kind of production from the 39-year-old Argentinian, they could perhaps overwhelm the Grizzlies. With Ginobili underperforming, it seems like the Spurs are missing a huge chunk from their offense.

Kawhi Leonard versus Mike Conley

The Leonard-Conley battle from Game 4 was extremely satisfying, as Conley nearly matched Leonard point for point. The two stars should be back at it in Game 5, but it will be nteresting to see if Conley can keep up the offensive onslaught. The Spurs are bound to throw more size on the 29-year-old veteran, so expect Danny Green and Leonard to take turns defending him.

Meanwhile, James Ennis became the primary defender on Leonard in Game 4, so he is likely to take on that task again.

The Spurs are a wonderful home team, and they have protected home court so far during the playoffs with two dominant victories. The Grizzlies must find a way to suck the energy out of the building and play their Grit-and-Grind style. Unfortunately, the "Grind Father," Tony Allen, will remain sidelined with a calf injury. If he was able to play, the outlook of this series could have been slightly different. Game 5 tips off at 9 pm Eastern Time on NBATV.

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