Will the Warriors snap a seven-game losing streak, and pick up their first win in more than two weeks?
Well, probably not. Golden State is still without D’Angelo Russell (and Steph Curry . . . and Klay Thompson . . . and Kevon Looney . . . and Damion Lee . . . and Jacob Evans III . . . and Alen Smailagic). The Grizzlies, on the other hand, bring their young star duo of Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. to the party, which is probably bad news for the Warriors, but definitely good news for basketball fans.
But the story lines go beyond that. The Warriors and Grizzlies have had two of the most productive rookies in the league, in Brandon Clarke and Eric Paschall. Both players spent at least three years in college, developed into high-quality, high-IQ players, and then saw the league pass on them (Clarke was drafted 21st, Paschall 41st) in favor of younger, less proven players.
Sorry to promote my own tweet here, but this is what I’m thinking about heading into this game . . .
NBA GMs passing on Brandon Clarke and Eric Paschall to draft 19-year olds: pic.twitter.com/9j6IXMUf2s— Brady Klopfer (@BradyKlopferNBA) November 18, 2019
This is a winnable game for the Warriors. The Grizzlies have exciting pieces between those three players and Jonas Valanciunas, but they’re still very raw. They rank 26th in the league in both offense and defense, so this game is here to take if the Warriors show up.
But it will likely take big performances from Paschall and Draymond Green.