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Warriors at Grizzles preview: Only nine games left before the playoffs

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Warriors are at full strength, but are they done messing around yet?

Memphis Grizzlies v Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors are hitting the road for a couple of quick games. The opponents matter a lot less right now than the team’s internal focus, so while they are still battling for the top seed in the West, the biggest battle is against themselves.

It’s a tough line to toe. For a team that once won more regular season games than any other in history, only to fall short of their ultimate goal, these regular season games are close to meaningless. Like the Mr Goodbars left at the bottom of the office candy jar, these regular season games aren’t unwanted per se — they’re just not exactly what anyone is really looking for.

Game Details

WHO: Golden State Warriors (50 - 23) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (30 - 44)

WHEN: Wednesday, March 27; 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: FedEx Forum — Memphis, TN

WATCH: NBCSBA

RADIO: 95.7 The Game,

Strength in (passing) Numbers

While the Warriors fine tune the machine in the lead up to our post season chase, it’s worth noting that this somewhat engaged, oft-injured Golden State team is still near the top of the league. Mostly on the strength of their top-rated offense, the Warriors continue to confound their opponents.

As much as it may drive certain members of the fandom nuts, it’s really difficult to argue that Steve Kerr’s egalitarian approach is anything less than super effective. Yes, just on talent alone, this is one of the best teams ever assembled, but Golden State also thrives on their team work.

As that tweet shows, the Warriors lead the league in assist percentage (nearly 70% of the buckets we get are off of assisted looks) — which would be impressive enough on it’s own — but beyond the raw assist numbers, this team has been sneakily effective at holding on to the ball.

According to NBA.com, the Warriors also have the best assist to turnover ratio in the league, and the highest assist ratio (which measures the number of possessions that end with an assist). In other words, this team is killing people not just because our players are better — they’re doing it by being a better team.

For the first time in a while, the Warriors are going to be fully healthy and available (minus Damian Jones, who is still recovering from a torn pectoral). With just nine games left before the playoffs start, keep a very close eye on coach Steve Kerr’s rotations as they are likely indicative of his preferred rotations.

Grizz all banged up

After years of washing in and out of the playoffs, the Memphis Grizzlies seem to have finally thrown in the towel and appear to be embracing the tank. Some of this is due to them just not being good enough to compete, but the team also took the classy road and moved Marc Gasol to a playoff contending team.

However, those moves have left the cupboards a bit bare, and as we can see from their starting lineup, there are a lot of unfamiliar names. It’s still the NBA, so any one of these players are talented enough to win a game on a random night... but it’s not at all likely.

Prediction

I expect a whole lot of Warriors dominance... and then, because it’s how the season has gone, some not-so-dominant play as well. In the end though, there’s no way that Golden State doesn’t win this one with the top seed in the West on the line.


Warriors: lots - Memphis: not very many points.