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Grizzlies vs. Warriors Preview: Memphis defends the Grindhouse against another top contender

The Grizzlies need reassert themselves at home in Memphis. They've gone 4-3 inside FedexForum since the All-Star break.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 7:00PM CT in Memphis, TN

The Memphis Grizzlies host the Golden State Warriors tonight for another chance to show their mettle against one of the top teams in the NBA. While the Grizzlies themselves are considered in the top echelon of the league, I'm choosing to act like they're second tier in hopes of inspiring a performance similar to what we saw against Dallas and Portland last weekend.

Recently for Memphis

More frustrations and questions for the Grizzlies. The loss to the Cavaliers on Wednesday was just one game, but it was one really disappointing game. Dave Joerger says he's not worried about it, and I do agree that the end result was magnified by the Grizzlies' misfortune combined with Cleveland's inability to miss a shot for much of the game. I mean, they were swimming in a pool of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck.

But as a team in contention for a title, you really shouldn't be blown out by 30 points on your home court with your entire roster available to play and on a day's rest after handily taking care of the Knicks on Monday. I contend that the Grizzlies are just being frugal with their efforts, but if that's the case then there better be some major fireworks come playoffs with the amount of energy they've been saving during the past few weeks.

My belief in the Grizzlies is currently riding more on the strength of my own faith in them rather than the present sermon they are preaching.

Recently for Golden State

It's seriously ridiculous. The Warriors have lost only twice in the month of March, and they've beaten their last seven opponents by an average of 18 points. And that's including a bizarre outlier of beating the Lakers by only 3 points. Steph Curry''s shooting 48% from downtown, and they're getting Klay Thompson back up to speed since returning from injury a couple of games ago. They are both the Predator AND the platoon of guerillas mowing down an acre of jungle.

Keys to the Game for Memphis

  • Defend the 3 like the shots are worth 3 points. I know they end up leaving a lot of shooters open because they're helping on defense and crashing the paint, but this Warriors team has multiple players who need no more than half a second to accurately launch a 27 footer.
  • Windex. On Wednesday the Cavs had 50% more rebounds than the Grizzlies. That'll need to turn upside down against the Warriors to keep Memphis playing their kind of game. Golden State will take a rebounding advantage and turn it into 15 extra points in a couple of minutes.
  • Find something for Courtney Lee to do. If his hand injury is still affecting his shot (every reason to believe it is with 24% 3pt shooting in March, and he's just 1/10 from long range in his last three games) then run him some plays to keep him moving. Heck, get him cutting and slashing like Tony Allen if you think that'll get him some easy shots. Memphis needs a confident CLee going into April. And while his stats on the season still look good because of his nuclear start to the season, he's becoming quite the culprit for the Grizzlies' offensive struggles. Courtney has reached double digit scoring just twice this month.

2015 NBA Season
50-22 (27-8 home)
58-13 (24-11 road)
March 27th, 2015
FedexForum in Memphis, Tennessee
7:00 PM CDT
Fox SportSouth / 92.9 FM ESPN
Possible Starters
Mike Conley PG Steph Curry
Courtney Lee SG Klay Thompson
Tony Allen SF Harrison Barnes
Zach Randolph PF Draymond Green
Marc Gasol C Andrew Bogut
2015 Advanced Stats
94.3 (26th) Pace 100.6 (1st)
103.3 (14th) OffEff 109.6 (1st)
100.0 (3rd) DefEff 97.5 (1st)