After opening up the regular season with a victory against the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors (1-0) will be playing their first home game tonight (7:30 p.m.) against a Memphis Grizzlies (0-1) team that lost their opener against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Warriors World staff went 3-on-3 to preview the contest against the Grizzlies tonight.
J.M. Poulard: Unforced turnovers. The Dubs had a series of unforced miscues in the second half against the Phoenix Suns, which allowed their opponents to get back into the game and even reclaim the lead despite facing a fairly big deficit.
The Grizzlies are quite good at forcing turnovers and turning those miscues into points by way of transition offense. Consequently, it stands to reason that unless the Warriors do a better job of securing the ball and reading the defense, they will be in for a long night against Memphis.
Jordan Ramirez: The Grizzlies frontcourt is one of the best in the NBA. Zach Randolph still doesn’t get the credit he deserves for turning his career around and Marc Gasol is still seen in some circles as just Pau’s younger brother. The new-look Warriors frontcourt will surely be tested tonight. David Lee can’t have another atrocious outing like he did in the season opener, and with Bogut playing limited again, the likes of Festus Ezeli and Carl Landry will be in for a tough night on both ends of the floor.
Ben Cruz: The small lineup they’re inevitably going to run with Bogut’s minutes limit. The frontcourt of Lee and Landry got a lot of playing time down the stretch against the Suns and while Landry did provide clutch shots for the Warriors against the Phoenix big men, being effective against the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph is a completely different animal. Offensively they should be able to hold their own, but defensively, that matchup is an absolute nightmare. Lee had trouble containing Luis Scola so you can only imagine what Randolph is going to do to him and as scrappy as Landry is, facing off against Gasol is not going to be fun at all for him or the Warriors.
2. Stephen Curry struggled in his opening game against the Suns, should we expect more of the same against the Memphis Grizzlies tonight?
J.M. Poulard: Curry missed a few open shots against Phoenix and then started to press a little and rushed shots. The Grizzlies will throw Mike Conley and perhaps even Tony Allen at him on a few trips, which may in fact fluster him a little given the Grizzlies’ aggressive and physical nature. With that said, there is no reason to expect Steph to continue to miss open jumpers; thus I believe he makes a few more plays and scores a few more points tonight as he bounces back and plays well.
Jordan Ramirez: It’s almost impossible for Curry to have another night like he did on Wednesday — 2-for-14 from the field, 0-for-6 from 3PT, 4 TO — right? Curry is still visibly hesitant on the court, and allowed Goran Dragic to completely own him on both ends of the floor. A fast, quick guard isn’t exactly the ideal matchup for a player trying to get his feet (and ankles) under him. So, it doesn’t help that the fast, quick, pesky Mike Conley will be his adversary for the home opener. Curry’s stat line will be better, but I’m not so sure he really looks that much better.
Ben Cruz: Curry should have a much better game tonight against Memphis. The combination of rust and a whirlwind of a day prior to facing the Suns no doubt took its toll on him. He admitted that the signing of his extension earlier that day affected his approach and mindset. I know exactly what he went through. Any time I sign a multi-million dollar contract, I too have a hard time focusing and have been known to struggle mightily with the tasks I need to complete throughout the day.
3. Until Andrew Bogut gets his timing back and becomes a dominant force again defensively, it’s quite likely that Carl Landry will get a lot of fourth quarter minutes. Good or bad tonight?
J.M. Poulard: The Warriors got away with playing Landry in the fourth quarter against the Suns because the duo of Gortat and Scola failed to dominate the interior late in the fourth quarter. Tonight, there is no reason to think that both Lee and Landry can successfully coexist defensively in the fourth quarter against Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
The Grizzlies frontline is just too physically imposing for Landry and Lee to provide any type of resistance on the boards and in the paint. Consequently, if Landry is seeing time in the fourth quarter, it will be alongside Bogut or Ezeli, but given that Landry isn’t exactly a stud rebounder, I’m heavily inclined to believe that it will be David Lee and Andrew Bogut closing out the contest for the Golden State Warriors.
Jordan Ramirez: Landry played well in his Warriors debut — 7-for-9 from the field, 17 PTS, 6 REB — and did an admirable job on the defensive end. But, I don’t think Landry gets as many minutes as he did if Festus doesn’t get hurt. Still, you have to like what Landry did with his minutes the other night. He actually matches up well with Randolph — both have the same measurements — but it will be Landry’s job to make sure Randolph doesn’t go off. Randolph will get his, but don’t expect Landry to get completely owned either.
Ben Cruz: Bad. As I mentioned earlier, as solid as Landry was versus the Suns, the Grizzlies frontcourt provides a much bigger problem for an undersized lineup. He may be able to take advantage of Gasol on the offensive end seeing as how he’s quicker than him, but defensively it’s not going to be pretty. Gasol stands at 7’1’’ and Landry is “listed” at 6’9’’ and not to mention defense isn’t exactly his forte.