David Joerger has some monster bags under his eyes... Looks like he's been low on sleep lately, which must be kind of flattering for the Warriors. Either that, or he's just interested in competing with Mike Conley for the most haggard Grizzly.
When you saw Mike Conley warming up with a mask, didn't you expect him to play? Calathes drew the start again, with the Midrange Marauder (Beno Udrih) coming off the bench to exercise his craft.
Draymond had a ‘Green' light from distance early, shooting 3 of 4 in the first quarter. Maybe this is a coaching strategy to get Zach Randolph to respect the shot and draw him out of the paint, or maybe Draymond just wanted to leave his imprint on the game early. Then Draymond missed a 3 in the third quarter so badly (worst I've ever seen?), you'd have to think Memphis continues to give him those. He air-balled another inside 2 minutes. Steve Kerr took a sip of water to wash it down.
Memphis looked to limit the Splash Brothers, obviously, and Kerr & Company couldn't have cared less. They rolled out creative lineups showing off their depth, seemingly very confident in the rest of the team scoring (10 to 43, Splash to rest-of-team, at a point). If you expected Stephen Curry to stay quiet, well he dismantled that notion quickly before the half, when he drained two contested, isolation 3s. After a half of midrange jumpers, Klay Thompson turned it up as well, getting to the rack once and hitting a few 3's. Neither turned it up very far, not that they needed to.
Andre Iguodala was given, and I do mean given, a wide-open corner 3 in the first quarter, so Memphis does look to be tempting at least certain players to shoot. While he missed that one, he came back to drain a left-wing 3 in the second quarter. Relatively quiet, but still valuable. He racked up 3 steals.
Mr. Harrison Barnes. Ahem. Assertive early — with that I've-had-enough-of-this look on his face — he came to play. An authoritative block, a few drives, a corner 3, 4 of 4 from the field — all that paled in comparison to his work on the glass. He snagged offensive boards between Marc Gasol and Z-Bo. Pretty sure he doesn't like being considered the weak link of the starters. What a beast.
Kerr seems intent on playing Marreese Speights in this series. He was the highlight of a dynamic and energetic bench that did not disappoint. Festus Ezeli chipped in with some valuable minutes, including a monster block that was probably the highlight of the game. Leandro Barbosa looked fiery as well. When Draymond picked up his fourth foul in the 3rd (along with Bogut), Kerr finally rolled out David Lee, albeit for a short stint. Nice to see the leader out on the floor again, after he's racked up so many DNPs.
It doesn't look like Joerger is one bit delusional about how valuable Marc Gasol and Z-Bo are in this series — he played them for the entirety of the first quarter. Almost asking Kerr, who else apart from Green-Bogut will you defend them with? The answer: Festus, Speights, Lee (limited), Barnes (limited).
This series is not particularly physical yet. Sure there are a lot of screens and post-ups, but there's also a heavy dose of sportsmanship. Speights helped Z-Bo up and Marc Gasol helped a Warrior up (can't remember who). Give it time. Big blowouts are not going to sit well with the Grindmasters, and frustration will escalate. Maybe 6-7 times in the game, someone hit the hardwood, but usually not the result of a particularly physical play. This one wasn't chippy.
Randolph and Gasol showed up (combined 41 pts on 14/25), despite what looked like pretty good defense by Bogut and Green. If this had been a closer game, those lines would have likely been more dominant. Fouls were a bit of an issue for Green and Bogut; one that didn't end up stinging because of solid bench play. Jeff Green looked assertive in his limited playing time, and Tony Allen looked feisty and disruptive as usual, reading the offense well. The Grizzlies need Conley back, pronto.
The lead grew early, and this game was never threatening for the Dubs. Portions of the 4th quarter looked like practice. I watched this one with no sound, and there were times I assumed there must have been a foul call (there wasn't), because the action and energy just fizzled with an open look.
It has been over 3 months since a team overtook the Roaracle. Even more ridiculous, there seems to be another gear hidden there somewhere, maybe most notably for the Splash Brothers. The bench energy was magnificent. Confidence is high right now.
The ending was comical. Marc Gasol missed a 3 with a minute to play, followed by a Bogut missed 3. Starters were in pretty much to the bitter end, despite a 20-point lead. James McAdoo might be Kerr's new ‘victory cigar'. Your move, Kuz.