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Warriors vs. Grizzlies preview: Battle of playoff hopefuls

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Two playoff contenders enter. One will exit a winner.

Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies both find themselves jockeying for playoff position, and they’re currently the last two seeds in the Western Conference, representing the play-in teams that need to win twice to advance to the first round.

Both teams have their sights set on getting higher up in the standings, and beating each other is a good start.

The deets

Who: Golden State Warriors (21-20) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (18-19)

When: 5:00 p.m. PT

Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennesse

TV: NBC Sports Bay Area

Projected starting lineups:

Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Nico Mannion, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Grizzlies: Ja Morant, Grayson Allen, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Jonas Valančiūnas

Last results:

Warriors: Beat the Rockets 108-94 — 2-3 in their last 5 games
Grizzlies: Beat the Heat 89-85 — 2-3 in their last 5 games

Players to watch

Warrior to watch: Jordan Poole.

Oh my goodness has Poole been on a tear since returning from the G League bubble. In five games since returning he’s averaging 19.0 points per game with a 69.6% true shooting percentage.

He’s blossoming before our eyes, and not only is it a joy to watch, but it’s helping the Warriors in a dramatic way.

Grizzly to watch: Ja Morant.

If you haven’t watched Morant play much, then you should change that. The second-year point guard is electric, creative, and an absolute treat. He’s also just flat out good, as evidenced by the 19.6 points and 7.6 assists per game that he’s currently averaging.

Matchup to watch: Draymond Green vs. Kyle Anderson.

Green and Anderson are two of the more interesting players in the league to watch. The both play a unique style, and play at their own pace. They don’t fit into any traditional basketball molds, but they’re effective and fun. It’ll be a joy to watch them go against each other.

Keys to victory

  • Win the small ball minutes since James Wiseman and Eric Paschall are out
  • Keep Ja Morant from getting easy buckets at the win
  • Don’t get killed on the glass
  • If Steph Curry plays: Steph Curry explosion
  • If Steph Curry doesn’t play: A big night from Andrew Wiggins or Kelly Oubre Jr.

Make it two in a row, Dubs.