Golden State Warriors (31-5) vs Memphis Grizzlies (22-16)
How to watch?
Date: Friday, January 6, 2017
Location: Oracle Arena — Oakland, CA
Time: 7:30pm PST
TV: CSN Bay Area, ESPN Radio: 95.7 THE GAME
Blog buddy: Grizzly Bear Blues
Team Metrics Comparison
The grittiest, grind-iest team of them all, the Memphis Grizzlies are one of just five teams in the league to have pulled off the unthinkable: obtaining a victory over the 2016-2017 Golden State Warriors.
Don’t trust anyone who wants to reminisce about that December 10th loss; they are cruel heathens who revel in the world’s ugliness. The Warriors lost 110-89 after going down by 17 in a first quarter that included Anderson Varejao as a starter; there’s a five-word phrase I hope to never write or see again in this lifetime.
For Zaza Pachulia to be the key to avoiding a second loss, he will have to do something rarely asked of him; he must defend the opposing center at the three point line. After years without consistent perimeter shooting around the attention-demanding bear brothers, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies solved that conundrum by having Gasol himself spread the court.
He’s taken almost twice as many threes in this adolescent season as he did through the first eight years of his career. And it turns out he’s pretty good at it, connecting on 41% through 36 games.
Still, the Grizzlies have lost four of their last six games, including two in a row in Southern California leading up to Friday’s bout. With Randolph down to less than 22 minutes per game and big offseason acquisition Chandler Parsons working his way back from knee problems, the Grizzlies are perhaps now a transitionary team as compared to the consistent beast we’ve seen for so many years.
The Warriors, meanwhile... well, whatever. They’re first in the league in offense, they’re first in the league in defense, they’re rested, they’re healthy and they definitely don’t want two losses to the same team this season.
Memphis is still a defensive powerhouse (third in the league currently) and is very good at causing turnovers, the eternal achilles heal of this Warriors team. But the early season loss should provide enough motivation for the Warriors to come in with a chip on their shoulder.