Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors: Game Preview

USA TODAY Sports

As a four game road trip comes to an end, your Memphis Grizzlies are in action tonight against the Golden State Warriors. Can the Bears of Beale Street end the road trip a surprising 4-0? Or will Klay Thompson and the Warriors use the absence of Tony Allen due to suspension to make it Splash in Oracle Arena?

2013/2014 NBA Season
vs
6-5 (3-3 road)
Won 3
8-3 (5-0 home)
Won 4
November 20th, 2013
Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA
9:30PM CST
Fox SportsSouth/ 92.9 FM ESPN
Possible Starters
Mike Conley PG Andre Iguodala
Quincy Pondexter
SG Klay Thompson
Tayshaun Prince SF Harrison Barnes
Zach Randolph PF David Lee
Marc Gasol C Andrew Bogut
2013/14 Advanced Stats
94.0(30th) Pace 100.3 (7th)
100.0 (16th) OEff 105.5 (4th)
102.9 (21st) DEff 94.6 (4th)

Injury Report:

MEMPHIS: Tony Allen (out, suspension)

GOLDEN STATE: Stephen Curry (out, concussion), Jermaine O'Neal (questionable, knee/groin), Toney Douglas (out, leg) and Festus Ezeli (out, knee)

The Grizzlies that lost to the Raptors and Pelicans by double digits at home apparently did not make the road trip. With big wins against the Lakers, Kings and the biggest of them all against the Clippers, Memphis is riding a wave of momentum seemingly unfathomable heading into this California swing. Zach Randolph has been a revelation, averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds per game on 66.2% shooting. Marc Gasol has been a beast as well, having been 1 or 2 rebounds or assists per game away from a triple double on this road trip. When the Memphis big men are playing well, this team will have success.

Tonight, the road trip ends with a visit out to Oracle Arena, one of the toughest places to play in the league, to take on the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors have played very good basketball as of late, riding a 4 game winning streak of their own into tonight's contest. They are also undefeated at home so far this season, having defeated Oklahoma City there just 6 nights ago in a pretty epic early season clash.

So what can be expected this evening from a depleted, but far from despondent, Grizzlies/Warriors game tonight?

Some things to watch for...
  • These Warriors, despite not having Stephen Curry tonight due to a concussion (on his bobble head night, no less), will be a force to be reckoned with. It is likely that they will start Andre Iguodala at the Point Guard position because the back-up PG Toney Douglas is also out. This could create quite the challenge for Mike Conley; he will be a mismatch defensively for whoever he has to guard, whether it is Iguodala, Barnes or Thompson. I have a feeling he will likely be on Thompson, as he is the likely long range threat, while Q guards Barnes and Tayshaun takes on Iggy. Tony Allen will be missed this evening.
  • The last time these two teams played, a 108-90 dominating win for the Grizzlies, the Warriors looked truly outmatched in the paint against Zach Randolph (23 points and 11 rebounds) and Marc Gasol (18 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks.) This time, on the road, how will the Warriors adjust to the strength of the Grizzly bigs? Will they collapse heavily on the paint and force the Grizzlies wing players to beat them? Or will they hope David Lee, Andrew Bogut and Marreese Speights will have better showings this evening defensively?
  • The Grizzlies rotation appears to have settled a bit on this road trip. Coach Joerger trusts Kosta Koufos a good deal, as well he should, and Koufos will likely continue to see 19-21 minutes per game as the third big off the bench. However, with Tony Allen out, it will be interesting to see where his minutes go. Does Quincy Pondexter get starters minutes tonight? Does Jerryd Bayless get a little more burn at the 2 guard? Or does Nick Calathes or Jamaal Franklin get some minutes in TA's stead? JB and Q will likely get the lion's share of time, but how the rotations look without TA will bear watching.

The Prediction:

This is just a bad match-up for the Warriors. They struggle mightily with the Grizzlies because of the size and skill of our bigs, and that has not changed from game 6 to game 12. This game is on the Warriors home court, however, and even without Stephen Curry the Warriors will likely have a better game in front of their home town fans than they did the last time these teams met in Memphis.

Despite all of this, the Grizzlies will continue to ride the hot hands of Gasol and Randolph, Q scores over 10 in his minutes for TA and the Grizzlies will go 4-0 on a road trip where 2-2 would have been considered a success. How times have changed...

Grizzlies 99, Warriors 93

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