Victor Wembanyama, injury-riddled Spurs eyeing to break 4-year Grizzlies curse

The Spurs generational talent calls the Memphis game a must win amid a 13-game losing streak.

Victor Wembanyama in image with San Antonio Spurs logo and Memphis Grizzlies logo

Perhaps it symbolizes how odd it is that one of the most respected franchises in sports has lost more than a dozen in a row to an organization that’s never made the NBA Finals. The last time the San Antonio Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzles, it was on an opening day that took place in December. In 2020.

The first game of the season that followed the “Bubble” marks the last Silver and Black victory against the Grizz. 131-199 on December 23, 2020. That night marked their 100th meeting. The Spurs held a 74-26 advantage. The series history now stands at 74-39.

“Let’s just say it’s a must win,” Victor Wembanyama said leading up to Tuesday’s match-up.

The recent history between the Spurs and Grizzlies

“My first game ever was versus them but I wasn’t playing,” Spurs guard Tre Jones said about that 2020 meeting, which came a couple of months after he’d been taken in the second round of that year’s NBA draft.

The next time the two teams met, the Grizzlies won in San Antonio on January 30, 2021 by 17 points. The most recent time they played each other came two and a half weeks ago when Memphis won by two. In between, the other eleven games have gone the same way with wide ranging scores.

“They play hard. I think that’s the common theme with every NBA team. It’s just that they play hard,” Spurs forward Julian Champagnie said.

Two of the Spurs’ worst losses in a season that’s seen plenty of bad losses came to Memphis.

San Antonio and Memphis this season

San Antonio Spurs center Victor Wembanyama (1) goes in for a dunk against Memphis Grizzlies forward Santi Aldama (7) in the second half at Frost Bank Center.

Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
When the Spurs hosted the Grizzlies this past November 18, Memphis was without Ja Morant, Marcus Smart, Luke Kennard, Brandon Clarke, and Steven Adams. San Antonio lost 120-108.

“They just play hard. No matter who’s out there, they play extremely hard. Obviously, they’re banged up this year, especially right now they’re really banged up. Whoever they roll out there, they play hard,” Jones said ahead of this next context between the two.

“They have a good system. They’re very well coached as well. They’re able to run their stuff and when you play hard, you give yourself a chance. We’ve got to come out ready. Just like with anybody – it’s the NBA – anybody can win on any given night so we’ve got to come out ready to play our game and let the rest handle itself,” the Spurs point guard continued.

Jones speaks from experience. When his squad welcomed Memphis again on March 22, the road team was missing every one of the players who didn’t play that aforementioned November night plus Derrick Rose, yet won 99-97.

“Especially when guys are out…look at us, guys are out and we’re in every game. We’re not out here getting, you know…we’re in every game. I think when guys are out, teams tend to pick up because guys get more opportunities,” Champagnie said, alluding to four key Spurs injuries.

This time, both teams head in  shorthanded. Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan, Keldon Johnson and Cedi Osman are all out for San Antonio. Perhaps, that will bode well, says Champagnie. After all, nothing else has seemed to work against Memphis through the overwhelming majority of the last four seasons.

“That’s what makes them a super scary team, especially now because their main guys are out and guys are stepping up. Going in there hopefully, you know, (knocks on wood) we’ll get a win.”

Related Posts

Our Privacy policy - © 2024 News