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Warriors vs. Grizzlies preview: Golden State visits Memphis for a rematch

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The Warriors return to Memphis for the first time since last year's playoff series victory. Can Golden State repeat this season's 50 point whipping?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Matchup

Memphis Logo v5

8-0 (3-0 Home)

vs.

Memphis Grizzlies
3-5 (1-1 Home)

Details

November 11, 2015

FedEx Forum - Memphis, TN

5:00 p.m. PST

Local TV: CSN - CA, Bay Area | Radio: KNBR 680 AM

Blog Buddy: Grizzly Bear Blues

Projected Starters

Stephen Curry

G

Mike Conley

Klay Thompson

G

Courtney Lee

Harrison Barnes

F

Tony Allen

Draymond Green

F

Zach Randolph

Festus Ezeli

C

Marc Gasol

Key Injuries

Kevon Looney (Out) — Hip surgery

Jordan Adams (Out) — Knee

Brandan Wright (Questionable) — Knee

The Warriors: Will they ever lose again?

Ok... it seems a bit ridiculous to start guessing about that already this season, but what we do know is that the machine that is the Golden State Warriors keeps chugging along.

After taking the best shot that the Pistons could throw at them Monday night, the Warriors hit the road on their way to Memphis looking to go to 9-0. They are getting healthier by the day with Andrew Bogut making his return to the court against Detroit (off the bench, but still was a huge game changer when he was on the floor). Sure, our fearless leader Steve Kerr still remains on the sidelines, but Luke Walton's perfect coaching career charges on.

We all remember what happened last time these two teams played — a 50-point trouncing back in Oakland to start the season. You know who definitely doesn't forget that game? The Grizzlies. And you can be they'll be read when Golden State touches down in Memphis for a game at the Grindhouse, already a notoriously tough place for any team to play.

Look for a different level of effort back onto the Warriors this time, with the crowd and the energy firmly on Memphis' side. The Warriors looked road weary already in Sacramento, and were pushed pretty close to their limits against Detroit. What is left in the tank at this point?

The night off on Tuesday will help get their legs back under them, as even Steph Curry started to look a bit fatigued fending off the pesky Pistons. Look for the Warriors to push a balanced attack again to spread the Grizzlies out. Let's hope Klay Thompson's game has returned to him in the same way it looked Monday night, as it will be nice to not have to lean as much on Curry for night especially going into a road back-to-back (Warriors play in Minnesota Thursday).

The Grizzlies continue their slow start to the season after a loss in Los Angeles on Monday. Sure, they are getting the best that the league has to offer, with losses to the Clippers and the Cavs. But losses to the Jazz and the Blazers? They ride back home and into Wednesday on a three-game losing streak, with the scheduling gods giving them an unfavorable six of their first eight games on the road to start the season.

Their struggles could just be due to road fatigue... or it really could be that Memphis is closing their window right in front of our eyes. In a competitive Western conference, they cannot continue to play .500 ball and expect to stay relevant. What happens if they take a dive and fall out of the playoff race? Is it time to break up the core, especially with Mike Conley's pending free agency?

They did however put up a great fight against a tough Clippers team, and found themselves with a chance to win on free throws to end the game. Memphis will continue to be pesky simply based on their style and pure brute force as long as this team still stays together. They are well coached, well disciplined, and roll out enough big bodies to punish you into playing their style.

So why were the Warriors able to beat them by 50 points? Because they aren't very good when you get them out of playing their own game. They are amongst the league's worst in three-point shooting (for a few consecutive seasons now actually) and rank at the bottom of the league in both points scored and offensive efficiency. They simply have not adjusted to the way the game has changed, and where they could apply their will on teams before, small ball lineups and run and gun styles like the Warriors bring simply frustrate and defeat this Memphis team.

Memphis did address one of their roster concerns on Tuesday, upgrading from Beno Udrih to Mario Chalmers. This should help with their bench woes and give them another solid scorer off the bench. Will it help? Who knows, but honestly they had to do something to get as far away from Beno as they could.

Predictions:

So it won't be another blowout, but its hard to see the Grizz keeping up with the Warriors again. My how the tables have turned — where Memphis always looked like the big brother pushing the Warriors around, now Golden State looks like the young guns where the Grizzlies look like the Kobe-like shell of their former self. The Warriors are too hot right now to pick against them, especially in a matchup where they have built themselves to be the anti-Memphis.

Enough bulletin board material was made out of the last match up to think that Memphis won't roll over in this rematch, but until the Grizz find themselves an outside shooting presence, the Warriors will still force them to overfeed the post and go one-on-one, where they can trap, double and cut off the passing lanes. I picture the Warriors getting off to a hot start in this one and keeping a solid lead throughout, finishing it off with the Warriors bench outplaying the Memphis 2nd team yet again to a comfortable win.

Win Prediction: Warriors take it by 14, 96-82 — this will end their consecutive streak of scoring 100 points to start the season. I fear this one might be a bit ugly, but a win is a win right?