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Warriors vs. Grizzlies, NBA Playoffs 2015: Golden State of Mind staff predictions

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Yesterday, we offered our staff's thoughts on the matchup with Memphis overall. Today, we put all of our credibility on the line with some predictions.

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We collected your predictions for the Golden State Warriors' second round series against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday. Today, our staff takes the plunge with some predictions of our own as a group response to the final question from the SB Nation series preview, as described the other day.

Our ever-expanding panel:

  • Andy Liu
  • Arno Ferguson
  • Atma Brother ONE
  • Basketball Jonez
  • Bram Kincheloe
  • Conrad Chow
  • Jared Stearne
  • Jeff Cheal
  • Nate Parham
  • Sam Sorkin

Kudos to Sam for being the only one to predict a sweep last round. Nobody predicted a sweep in this round and there's a clear majority leaning one way, but there's still a range of opinions here.

4. What is your series prediction and why?

Andy Liu: GSW in 5. Too much defense against a cramped Memphis offense and the Grizz stand no chance against a GSW O without Conley, if only for two games. This series would perhaps change with Conley but without him for the majority is a death sentence.

Arno Ferguson: Warriors in 5. I think Warriors will come in with a lot of respect for Memphis, and as a result, it will be very hard for the Grizzlies to win at the Roaracle. Frustration will build, and they will rage-win one at the Grindhouse. This Warriors team seems all business right now, and I see them taking one on the road and wrapping this up quickly. I'm most concerned about the Dubs staying healthy -- this could be a very physical series.

Atma Brother ONE: Warriors in 7- I don't think this series will be nearly as easy for the Warriors as most people do. The Grizzlies are battle tested and tough. Remember it's only been 2 seasons since they were in the Western Conference Finals.

Basketball Jonez: I predict the Warriors will win in 5 games. The Grizzlies are tough, but toughness alone isn't going to put points up as quickly as the Splash Brothers will, and Memphis will struggle to keep up with the Warriors' prolific offense. The Warriors shoot better, rebound better, and control the paint better on defense. Unless the Grizzlies figure out that three points are better than two, they'll be playing from behind for most of the series.

Bram Kincheloe: Warriors in five. Memphis got more than they bargained for in the Portland series. On top of that, their (arguably) most important player is out with an uber-nasty facial injury. Will Mike Conley play? If so, how effective can he be if he can only see out of one eye? I think Memphis only goes as far as Conley can take them and if he misses considerable time in this series, it bodes well for a quick GSW victory

Conrad Chow: Even without a healthy Mike Conley, Memphis' frontcourt of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph will challenge Golden State. In spite of this, at the end of the day the Warriors' lethal three-point shooting and uptempo pace will put an end to the Grit 'N' Grind. Warriors in six.

Jared Stearne: Warriors in 5, assuming Conley plays at some point in the series. All reports indicate that he's doubtful, but we'll give the tough point guard the benefit of the...uh...doubt.

Jeff Cheal: I'm sticking with Warriors in 5. I think Golden State off their huge rest sweep the games in Oakland, but Memphis takes Game 3 back home. After that, the Warriors adjust and take it home at home back to stamp their ticket to the Western Conference finals.

The Warriors have too much depth and have finally found Memphis's number in recent games. Memphis needs to push Golden State around and force them off their game, and I believe you just don't do that to this iteration of the Warriors. Memphis doesn't win because we have seen the only way to beat the Warriors so far is to either be the Spurs or have a guy named Anthony Davis. and Memphis has neither one of these things.

Nate Parham: For now, let's assume that Conley isn't coming back. Then consider home court advantage and rest. I want to give Memphis the benefit of the doubt, but I struggle to imagine them pushing it past five. The only things making me consider predicting six games are a) Conley making a return early in the series and giving his team an emotional boost and b) the kind of lulls we saw from the Warriors against the Pelicans that made that series closer than the sweep might suggest. Final answer: Warriors in five.

Sam Sorkin: Warriors in 5. Golden State will have had a week off to rest and prep for Memphis. Four of the seven games will be at Oracle; the Warriors killed the Grizzlies both at home (even though Memphis made a large comeback in the Warriors' 111-107 win) and in Memphis. In this series, the Warriors' league-best ability to shoot the three, with Curry and Thompson, will really hurt Memphis's below-average three-point defense.

Schedule (all times ET)

Game 1: Sunday, May 3. Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA. 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Game 2: Tuesday, May 5. Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA. 10:30 p.m. (TNT)

Game 3: Saturday, May 9. FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN. 8 p.m. (ABC)

Game 4: Monday, May 11. FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN. 9:30 p.m. (TNT)

Game 5 (if necessary): Wednesday, May 13. Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA. TBD. (TNT)

Game 6 (if necessary : Friday, May 15. FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN. TBD. (ESPN)

Game 7 (if necessary: Sunday, May 17. Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA. TBD.