Golden State Warriors (20-3) at Memphis Grizzlies (16-8)
How to watch?
Date: Saturday December 10, 2016
Location: FedExForum — Memphis, Tennessee
Time: 5:00pm PST
TV: CSN Bay Area Radio: 95.7 THE GAME
At this point last season, the Golden State Warriors were 23 wins into their 24 win streak record. This season they’ve already tallied three losses and will enter Saturday’s match-up against the Memphis Grizzlies looking for only their fifth win in a row.
I can hear it now.
Oh, how times have changed. Clearly the Kevin Durant experiment has failed. They might as well just start tanking for draft picks.
Pessimistic doomsayers aside, the Warriors have had a pretty good run in this first quarter of the season and they’re looking to get better.
This metaphoric hump-day game will mark the middle of their five-games-in-seven-nights road campaign and is the first game of their second back-to-back on the trip. Just thinking about the temporal math is exhausting.
It will be interesting to see how Head Coach Steve Kerr handles the players’ minutes for the rest of the road trip. In their most recent game against the Utah Jazz, Kerr rested Shaun Livingston (because “[h]e’s old”) and played Klay Thompson for just under 28 minutes.
After being pulled from Thursday’s game with an apparent foot and/or ankle injury, Draymond Green could be a candidate for reduced minutes, which could make life pretty difficult for the Warriors as they’ll be facing a combined 13’10” and 515 lbs. of front court in Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
The Grizzlies are on a five game win streak and Gasol has averaged over 25 points per game his last three games. Meanwhile, Randolph leads his team in rebounds, averaging 8.3 per game.
Also, during their recent win streak, the Grizzlies have overcome fourth-quarter deficits of 14 to the Orlando Magic, 13 to the Portland Trail Blazers and 10 to the New Orleans Pelicans. We all know how much the Warriors love to give away a big lead, so this could spell trouble if they get sloppy on defense.
This game could present itself as a great testing ground for some of the Warriors’ front court bench players. JaVale McGee has shown he can throw down alley-oops and Kevon Looney is active on the offensive glass. But if either of these players want a chance at some playoff minutes, they’re going to have to show that they can be trusted to defend elite front court players like Gasol and Randolph.
As will almost always be the case this season, the Warriors come into the game as the favorite. But both teams are riding a win streak and it’s bound to be close.
Score: Warriors 106 - Grizzlies 99
High Scorer: Kevin Durant