The Golden State Warriors have yet another baseball series, the pandemic specialty. One day after facing the Memphis Grizzlies on the road, the Warriors stay on the road to face ... yep ... the Memphis Grizzlies.
The first game was a shocking win, in which the Warriors controlled the game despite not having Steph Curry, James Wiseman, or Eric Paschall. Now they’ll look to repeat the performance.
Who: Golden State Warriors (22-20) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (18-20)
When: 5:00 p.m. PT
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
TV: NBA TV (available on fuboTV)
Projected starting lineups:
Warriors: Jordan Poole, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney
Grizzlies: Ja Morant, Grayson Allen, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, Jonas Valančiūnas
Warriors: Beat the Grizzlies 116-103 — 3-2 in their last 5 games
Grizzlies: Lost to the Warriors 116-103 — 1-4 in their last 5 games
Friday night’s win was the absolute best you could have hoped for out of the Warriors. Context considered, it might have been the most impressive victory of the year.
So how do they follow up? There’s always the fear of a letdown after such a strong performance, but then again, had I told you before Friday’s game that the Warriors would split the series, without Steph Curry playing, you probably would have been pretty happy.
At some level, the Dubs are playing with house money. But they can’t be thinking like that. They need to build on Friday’s performance, not let it be good enough.
Players to watch
Warrior to watch: Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins put together a masterpiece on Friday, with 40 points on 14-for-24 shooting, to go with 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 steals.
Believe it or not, it was just the third time all season that Wiggins had eclipsed the 25-point mark. So how does he follow it up? He thrived as the team’s go-to option, and he needs to thrive again for them to find a second win.
Grizzly to watch: Jonas Valančiūnas.
The one area where the Grizzlies have a clear advantage over the Warriors is with size. Valančiūnas half-flexed that on Friday. On the one hand, he had 16 rebounds in just 25 minutes. On the other hand, he had a mere 10 points, and never felt like an offensive force.
Memphs will make adjustments. Don’t be surprised if one of those adjustments is a desire to play bigger, and run more offense through their center.
Matchup to watch: Jordan Poole vs. Ja Morant.
Poole won’t spend much of the game guarding Morant — that will be Kelly Oubre Jr.’s job — but the point guards are still the matchup to keep your eye on. Morant is the more highly-touted second year guard — he was the No. 2 pick, and the Rookie of the Year — but Poole has been nothing shy of brilliant lately, and got the best of Friday’s matchup, with 25 points to Morant’s 14, 0 turnovers to Morant’s 6, and a highly efficient 10-for-15 night.
Expect Morant to bounce back, and have an impressive game. Let’s hope Poole can once again match or exceed it.
Keys to victory
- Make more threes than the Grizzlies, and make them at a higher percentage
- Dictate the flow and pace of the game
- Limit the turnovers and maximize the assists
- A strong individual offensive game or two
Sweep the series, Dubs.