WHAT: 2022 NBA Playoffs - Western Conference 2nd Round Game 4 (Warriors Lead 2-1)
WHEN: 9:00 P.M. CT on TNT
WHERE: Chase Center, San Francisco, California
BETTING INFORMATION (per DraftKings): Golden State (-10) ML - Golden State (-490), Memphis (+360). O/U at 224 (-110)
MEMPHIS: Ja Morant (Doubtful, knee), Santi Aldama (Out, knee), Killian Tillie (Out, back)
GOLDEN STATE: Andre Iguodala (Out, neck), Gary Payton II (Out, Elbow fracture), James Wiseman (Out, knee)
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS:
MEMPHIS: Tyus Jones, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Xavier Tillman
GOLDEN STATE: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Jonathan Kuminga
Well, that escalated quickly.
After two tight games, the Grizzlies were blown out by 30 in a loss to the Warriors Saturday night. Not only that, but it appears they also lost their star Ja Morant for at least one game.
There’s the ongoing debate on if the play where Ja got injured was dirty. One thing is for sure and that’s Jordan Poole will not be disciplined and will be playing tonight. Also playing tonight — Dillon Brooks. He returns to the lineup after a one game suspension for his flagrant 2 foul on Gary Payton II.
It’s not an unfamiliar position for this Grizzlies team — counted out without Ja. The good news though is the team went 20-5 this season without 12. I know the Warriors in the playoffs in San Fran is a whole different beast, but there’s no quit in this Grizzlies team.
In saying all of that, the Grizzlies are going to have to play way better than they did in Game 3. Here are some keys to Game 4 if they want to even up the series.
In Game 3, the Warriors put on a clinic on how to run a successful offense. They shot 63% from the field and 53% from 3-point. They were getting wide open layups pretty much whenever they wanted with their back door cuts and just slipping down the middle of the lane.
The return of Dillon Brooks should bring some more intensity on the defensive end, and Jaren Jackson Jr. also has to be better. There has to be better communication as well on the defensive end, there were too many times where after a screen or two, a guy was left wide open from three. The Warriors are already dangerous enough with contested shots, but letting them heave it with wide-open shots is just a death sentence.
Force the Issue
On the offensive end, the Grizzlies have to do a better job of getting inside. In Game 3, the Warriors outscored the Grizzlies in the paint 62 to 44. The Grizzlies led the league in points in the paint this season with 57.6 points per game. The Warriors finished 25th in the NBA in that category.
The 3’s were falling early for the Grizzlies. But, you aren’t going to be able to shoot shot for shot from the perimeter with the Warriors; and we saw what happens when the 3 isn’t falling. Sure, both Brandon Clarke and Tyus Jones had uncharacteristic games where they weren’t hitting their signature shots in the paint, and I do expect that to be an outlier.
I know that Draymond Green is down there manning the paint, but the Grizzlies must get more shots down low and stop settling. Get Jaren onto the block, Dillon and Desmond have shown the ability to take their man off the dribble, and of course Tyus has his patented floater. Not to mention, you can get some of their guys into foul trouble and get to the line as well.
Crash the Boards
This may be the biggest case to bring Steven Adams back to the starting lineup. In all three games of this series, the Grizzlies have been outrebounded by the Warriors. Rebounds and offensive rebounds are two other categories in which the Grizzlies led the entire NBA this season.
I understand that when the Warriors don’t miss many shots, there aren’t many rebounds to get, but the Memphis Grizzlies did only end up with 7 offensive rebounds in Game 3. They have to get second chance points to have a shot in this series. So, will this push Adams back into the starting lineup? I guess we will see.
Breaking Down the Bet
According to DraftKings, the Memphis Grizzlies are heavy underdogs coming into Game 4. Chances are, they are already counting on Ja not playing in the game. As I mentioned, the Grizzlies have played pretty well with Ja out, and I don’t think they get blown out this game. In fact, I do think they keep it close, but the Warriors will be just too much down the stretch. I also think the final score won’t be as close as the actual game was. I also like the over in this one.
Final Prediction: Warriors 122 Grizzlies 108