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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors Game Preview

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The last time these two teams met, Memphis dominated Golden State. Will the Warriors be out for revenge tonight?

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (22-16, 9-9 road) vs. Golden State Warriors (31-5, 16-2 home)

WHEN: 9:30 PM CT

WHERE: Oracle Arena in Oakland, California

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: ESPN/92.9 FM ESPN Memphis

Injury Report-

MEMPHIS- JaMychal Green (Questionable, maxilla), Brandan Wright (Out, ankle), Deyonta Davis (Out, Foot)

GOLDEN STATE- NONE

PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS-

MEMPHIS- Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Chandler Parsons, Jarell Martin, Marc Gasol

GOLDEN STATE- Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Zaza Pachulia


Inconsistency.

That has marred Memphis’ last 14 games since the last time the Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors. Memphis has since then defeated the strong contending teams of the West (Houston, Oklahoma City, Golden State) and yet somehow found a way to let Austin Rivers and Aaron Gordon score 28 and 30 on them, respectfully.

This is outlined in our great GBB Original Video by Mark King, where the Grizzlies’ ability to be consistently inconsistent is broken down.

6-8 in their last 14 including the last Golden State encounter. Something has got to give.

Perhaps Memphis seeing a great team like the Warriors in front of them will inspire them to rotate properly on defense and move the ball more crisply on offense. Or perhaps Golden State, mad they got destroyed by these Grizzlies a month or so ago, will look to return the favor and bludgeon the current seven seed in the Western Conference.

How can the Grizzlies beat the team that is 1st in both offensive AND defensive efficiency in the NBA?

PRAY.

Just a joke, stay calm.

CONLEY AND GASOL MUST STEP UP.

I know Chandler Parsons is Grizzlies fans “scapegoat of the moment”, but he is not the problem with the Grizzlies, just as previous scapegoats were not the problem. In my five years of GBBing, I have always said it starts at the top. And Marc Gasol and Mike Conley must look themselves in the mirror.

Conley is clearly trying to play defense without getting hit. Marc Gasol has been called out by his own coach about not differing to Mike Conley offensively just because he is back playing again. These two guys are who make the Memphis Grizzlies good. Not Chandler Parsons, or Zach Randolph, or Tony Allen. They are complimentary players at this stage, with Parsons hopefully taking on a larger role when (if?) he gets healthy.

Marc and Mike must make more of their opportunities. If Conley defends Curry the way he defended Russell of the Lakers and Rivers of the Clippers, it is going to be a long night for Memphis. If Gasol is not aggressive offensively against the guy somehow beating him in All-Star voting, the Grizzlies will struggle mightily.

It starts at the top. The best of Memphis must play that way for the Grizzlies to have a shot.

CREATE TURNOVERS

It sounds like a broken record sometimes, but it is true. The Grizzlies need to protect possessions on offense while creating as many extra possessions defensively as possible. Thankfully, this is an actual weakness for Golden State- they average 15.1 turnovers per game, which is 22nd in the NBA. Meanwhile, Memphis forces 15.1 turnovers per game, good for 2nd in the Association.

Golden State’s defense is quite good, so the Grizzlies may turn the ball over more than they’d like to. But they have to really play passing lanes and be aggressive trying to get the ball while on defense so they can get some easy shot opportunities.

THE PREDICTION

Does Memphis have a shot? Of course they do. But they need for JaMychal Green to play well defensively, and if he doesn’t play they need Jarell Martin to fill those shoes to some extent. They will need Herculean efforts from Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. They will need the Memphis bench to have a big night, taking advantage of the lone Warriors weakness-that-really-isn’t-much-of-a-weakness. They need more from Chandler Parsons- a minute restriction is understandable, but in those 15-20 minutes he must make several shots to create energy and spacing for his teammates.

The bottom line? A lot needs to happen for the Grizzlies to win this game, and on the last game of their California road trip, and third game in four nights? It will likely be too tall of a task for Memphis.

Golden State 114, Memphis 99

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