Matt Barnes urges the Memphis Grizzlies to "go down swinging" against the San Antonio Spurs

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The Memphis Grizzlies have proven to be no match for the San Antonio Spurs thus far in their first-round playoff series and if the two games are anything to go by, it seems highly unlikely that's going to change at all. 

The Grizzlies put up a meagre 68 points in their game two loss at the AT&T Center on Tuesday night and have lost their opening two encounters by a combined total of 58 points. 

The franchise is known for its grit and grind approach on the court but that hasn't been evident so far in their two heavy losses and with the circumstances in question, it isn't a big surprise.

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Memphis has struggled with injuries all season and is missing two of its star players in center Marc Gasol - a former Defensive Player of the Year - and point guard Mike Conley. 

When they signed Bryce Cotton to a 10-day contract on April 1, he became the 28th player to be added to the Grizzlies roster, which set an NBA record.

With a revolving door of players, Dave Joerger has been unable to find any consistency with his players and should be commended for even securing a playoff berth. 

Despite the injuries, the team has a number of experienced players who are used to winning and one of those players, Matt Barnes, has called on his teammates to show some fighting spirit.

“We’ve got to roll the dice a little bit. We’ve got to play small, play fast. We're coming to a gunfight with some spoons,” Barnes said. “We’ve got to do something to try to switch this up at home next game. It’s very frustrating.”  

Memphis is 0-16 all-time when scoring 86 points or less in the postseason and San Antonio is responsible for six of those losses.

Barnes himself is 4-of-18 from the field in the two defeats with the team shooting just 28-83 (33 percent).

“You can credit their defense a little bit,” Barnes said, “but you’ve got to put the onus on us to make shots.”

According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Grizzlies are the first team since the 2010 Milwaukee Bucks to score less than 75 points in back-to-back playoff games.

The team's main offensive threat is Zach Randolph in the post, but the power forward has also struggled, going 5-17 from the floor in Tuesday's reverse.

This can be put down to the Spurs being more than content to double or triple team Z-Bo on the low block because of Memphis' lack of shot makers on the perimeter to space the floor.

“They are coming at (Randolph) across the middle, they are coming across the baseline," Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger said. "We need to make some shots. That would help him out."

With the series now heading to the FedEx Forum, Joerger's men will hope a change of scenery and their boisterous crowd can help them play better. 

Barnes, however, wants his team to do one thing regardless of the location. 

“I just want to go down swinging. I don’t think we’re doing that,” said the 36-year-old. “At home, we’ve got to come up with something amazing.

“It doesn't matter where we play, we've just got to play better. We can play here (in the AT&T Center). We can play at the YMCA. We can play in Memphis. It doesn't matter where we play at if we play the way we've been playing, the court doesn't matter. It's on the players. We've got to do a better job executing."

Marc Gasol
Memphis Grizzlies
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Zach Randolph
Mike Conley

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