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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors Game Preview

The Grizzlies look to stop their road skid with a rivalry win in the Bay.

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Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

WHO: Memphis Grizzlies (31-16, 11-13 Away) vs. Golden State Warriors (23-24, 17-6 Home)

WHEN: 9:00 PM CT

WHERE: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN: ESPN, Bally Sports Southeast, 92.9 FM ESPN Memphis/680 AM


MEMPHIS: Steven Adams (Out, Right Knee Soreness), Danny Green (Out, Left Knee Surgery), John Konchar (Out, Concussion Protocol), Kenneth Lofton Jr. (Two-Way Transfer)

GOLDEN STATE: Andre Iguodala (Out, Right Hip Soreness), James Wiseman (Probable, Left Ankle Sprain)


MEMPHIS: Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr., Xavier Tillman

GOLDEN STATE: Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green

The Grizzlies and Warriors will kick off their portion of the NBA’s new rivalry week in the Bay area for their 2nd matchup of the season. As many may remember (Grizzlies fans want to forget) the Warriors and Grizzlies squared off in the Chase Center on Christmas Day where the Warriors controlled most of the game and jumped out to a double-digit lead in the late 3rd quarter and never looked back as they beat the Grizzlies 123-108 in their first matchup since the 2nd round of the playoffs last season.

While the Grizzlies were playing just their 2nd game with their regular starting rotation, the Warriors were missing starters Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins for that Christmas Day matchup. Ja Morant had a great performance with 36 points and 8 assists, but foul troubles hampered defensive stalwarts Dillon Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr. The Warriors' secondary stars, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, also scored a combined 56 points to lead the Warriors in a game that included 7 technical fouls, and Jordan Poole being ejected in the 4th quarter.

Despite the return of Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins to the lineup, the standings have remained similar to what it was on Christmas Day. The Grizzlies were 2nd in the West standings behind the Denver Nuggets then and are currently in the same position and the Warriors were 10th in the west standings and under .500 then and are currently in the same position now.

The Grizzlies are currently on a 3-game losing streak (all on the road) after winning 11 games in a row. Can they get back on track with a huge road victory against their biggest rivals in Golden State?

Memphis Grizzlies v Phoenix Suns Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Play Memphis Grizzlies basketball

The Grizzlies are at their best when they force turnovers, get out in transition, attack the paint, and capitalize on 2nd chance opportunities. This was not the case in their first matchup against the Warriors as the Grizzlies settled for a 3-point contest and failed miserably shooting 9-39 while the Warriors shot 18-44 from behind the arc.

The Grizzlies did outscore the Warriors 50-26 in the paint in their first matchup but settling for too many 3-point attempts when the shots were not falling ultimately played into the Warriors' hands. Also, the undersized Warriors outrebounded the Grizzlies in that contest and that absolutely cannot happen, even with Steven Adams out for this matchup.

The common theme in the Grizzlies’ current 3-game losing streak is not playing with energy to start the game and falling behind early. After that Christmas Day performance and losing three games in a row, I expect the Grizzlies to come out with some energy and play to their strengths in this one.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Secondary Stars step up

The stars show up in the big games and as mentioned earlier, Ja Morant showed up to the Christmas Day matchup against the Warriors. The rest of the team will have to match his energy this time around especially with Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins back in the lineup for the Warriors.

Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Dillon Brooks all had rough Christmas Day outings as Bane was just playing his 2nd game back after missing 17 games straight with a foot injury and both Dillon and Jaren dealt with foul trouble. Jaren Jackson Jr. was especially disappointing considering Klay Thompson’s “bum” comment he made at him back in June after the Warriors won the Finals. Ja Morant scored more points than Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, and Jaren Jackson Jr. all combined.

Desmond Bane has looked like his pre-injury self in January averaging 21.5 points per game and shooting 51.6% from behind the arc in 10 games. The Grizzlies will need this Bane to show up along with Jaren and Dillon to remain relatively out of foul trouble impacting the team defensively to end their 3-game losing skid and avenge their Christmas Day performance.

The Prediction:

On our recent episode of The Starting 5 Podcast, I predicted the Grizzlies to lose to the Sacramento Kings before beating the Golden State Warriors, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Indiana Pacers to flip their 3-game losing streak into a 3-game winning streak. With that said, I fully expect the Grizzlies to come out with an intensity we have not seen from them in a week and find a way to even up the season series against the Golden State Warriors.

Prediction: Memphis 115, Golden State 110

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