The last time the San Antonio Spurs were in Memphis, the two teams faced off in a thrilling overtime battle that ended with a Marc Gasol game-winner. Kawhi Leonard scored 43 points in that game, including 16 in the final four minutes of regulation. The Spurs came close to stealing Game 4 but didn’t. Now they have the chance to close out in Memphis and should come out determined.

Kawhi Leonard’s superstardom

Whenever the Spurs need a huge performance from someone, they typically get it from their new superstar Kawhi Leonard. We witnessed what he did in Game 4 in Memphis, and he usually comes through in the clutch.

This is one game that the Grizzlies must put extra focus on Leonard because if they don’t, he will single-handedly lead his team to victory.

The Spurs bench

The Spurs bench performed extremely well in Game 5 led by a second half offensive explosion from Patty Mills, who scored 20 points including five threes. Manu Ginobili, who was scoreless the first four games, finally produced, scoring 10 points, adding three assists, and three steals. Spurs bench totaled 46 points in Game 5, which was the major difference. The Grizzlies bench, meanwhile, notched 30 points.

The Grizzlies big three

The Grizzlies are going to sorely need major performances from their big three, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, and Marc Gasol.

While Conley has been a constant, the other two must produce heavily for the Grizzlies to extend the series. The Grit-and-Grind style has to be in effect, with Randolph and Gasol constantly punishing the Spurs bigs down low.

Conley has been averaging 24.4 points, 7.4 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in this series, and he must continue his dominance.

Conley’s aggression is key because he puts a lot of pressure on the Spurs defense when he is attacking.

The level of physicality

The most physical team in each game has essentially been winning. Both teams love to grind it out and rely heavily on the defensive end. Thus, whichever team can be most physical in Game 6 should prevail.

As mentioned above, the Grizzlies must pound the ball inside and play bully ball with Randolph. When Randolph is constantly utilized down low, it opens up the offense for Memphis and gets the Spurs big men in foul trouble. The Spurs tend to play physical around the perimeter mainly due to their defensive aces Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, who will harass Memphis’ wing players into turnovers.

It should be another intense contest between these two defensive-minded teams. However, Gregg Popovich and the Spurs are great at closing out series’. Game 6 is scheduled at 9:30 pm Eastern Time on TNT.

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