|Marreese Speights, PF 26 MIN | 7-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 8 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 15 PTS | +2I believe fans and pundits alike shared the same thought when they saw Speights was starting: “What the f*** is Mark Jackson doing?” Well, Jackson proved everyone wrong with he inserted Speights into the lineup over the likes of Jermaine O’Neal or Harrison Barnes. Jackson said his decision was based on feel, and oh did Speights deliver. His presence was felt early, and some quick buckets kept his confidence high throughout. Speights had seven points and five rebounds in the 1Q alone, and finished with an impressive line in his 26 minutes. He held his own against one of the best frontcourts in the league, and while many of his shots were of the Mo Speights variety (contested jumpers from just inside the arc or tough isolations on the block), he was hitting them on Friday night.|
|Andre Iguodala, SF 29 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 5 PTS | +11Iguodala was playing in his first game since March 16 in Portland, and didn’t look to be hampered by his knee tendinitis. Jackson admitted pre-game that Andre won’t be 100% the rest of the season, but his presence on both ends is felt regardless. He held Tayshaun Prince — yes, the same Tayshaun Prince — and handled the offense when he needed to. Curry assisted on two of Curry’s shots and while his line wasn’t otherworldly, they usually aren’t. It was a quiet game from Iguodala, but with Carmelo Anthony looming he needed an easy(ier) game to ease him in.|
|Andrew Bogut, C 4 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | +7Bogut left the game with 7:59 left in the 1Q and never returned. His injury was deemed a “pelvic contusion” and will have an MRI on Saturday.|
|Stephen Curry, PG 38 MIN | 13-22 FG | 2-3 FT | 5 REB | 8 AST | 1 STL | 2 BLK | 3 TO | 33 PTS | +9What more is there to say? Really. I’ve had numerous reactions to Curry this season, and a lot of them have come of this variety: Curry being Curry. It doesn’t matter who was guarding him — Curry saw Mike Conley, Courtney Lee and Tony Allen — he hit his shots in ways only he could. Coming off screens, pull-up’s, spot-up’s, layups, the only type of shot he didn’t hit was a dunk. He had eight assists, but easily could’ve reached double digits had his teammates hit their shots. Curry had three turnovers, two of them coming in the final quarter, but was so incredible on the offensive end they didn’t have any relevance to the final score. When he’s hitting shots, no one can stop him. Plain and simple.|
|Klay Thompson, SG 36 MIN | 6-16 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 14 PTS | +9This was a rather quiet night from Thompson, who was scorching hot before the five day break. Thompson was once again stout on the defensive end, but it was his assist total that was most impressive. This was only the third time this season that he has reached the five assist mark, and I’m surprised the number is that high. Thompson has never been seen as a passer, but Klay Thompson 2.0 has, and his five assist night is another example of his increased willingness to make the pass. He’s opted to drive instead of taking contested jumpers on numerous occasions lately, and that continued against Memphis as well. I expect a nice offensive game from both Splash Brothers on Sunday against the defenseless Knicks.|
Quote of the game:
If I’m in a foxhole, I want him. He knows one way and that is to compete, to fight and to battle. He’s been questioned his whole life. He’s not afraid of the moment offensively or defensively. Just a spectacular night for him. This was a guy that when he came into the league people were saying ‘Why is he shooting threes?’ and he’s winning ballgames with us knocking down shots and making huge plays on the defensive end. The guy is a tremendous warrior, no pun intended. — Mark Jackson
Looking ahead: The Warriors welcome the depleting New York Knicks (30-43) on Sunday to wrap up their short week. The Warriors have a busy week ahead of them, traveling to Dallas and San Antonio on back to back nights before welcoming the Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz into town.
Your Splash Brothers (Stephen Curry-Mo Speights) shot chart of the night:
Your Draymond Green update of the night:
There’s no denying who the Warriors’ best pick was in the 2012 draft anymore. It really isn’t close. Draymond Green has proven to be a force with this team and has constantly displayed what he can bring on both ends of the floor this season. He’s a keeper, and on Friday night he proved once again why. His line was impressive: 12 points on 5/11 shooting, nine rebounds and zero turnovers in 32 minutes. But as with anything Draymond, the line doesn’t do the man justice.
With David Lee out, it was assumed either of Harrison Barnes or Jermaine O’Neal would start. Instead, Mark Jackson pulled a fast one on everyone and started Mo Speights, who has been largely ineffective this season. That left Green to assume his usual role off the bench. In the first half, Green struggled against Zach Randolph on the block. Randolph hit some tough shots with Green contesting, but also wedged him inside and used his size to his advantage. It was unusual to see Green struggle on the defensive end.
Green called Z-Bo his “big brother” in the locker room after the game, and said that he couldn’t get taken advantage of all game (while chuckling) in regards to his improved second half defense. Keep in mind Randolph is one of the premier low post scorers in the league, and Green forced him into tough spots in the second half due to his increased, constant activity. He denied Conley at times as well, showing his incredible versatility. He was a beast on the glass against two taller, wider players as well. In the 4Q, Green made a clutch three — after he grabbed the rebound on the other end — to pull the Warriors within two with 2:33 left.
Green’s high basketball IQ on both ends was clear on Friday night. He was only credited with one assists, but could’ve had at least two or three more if his teammates hit shots. Green simply knows where to be, and is really good in those positions when he’s there. Best of all: he knows what he is. He doesn’t have an ego (though his passion is undeniable) and will make the best basketball play more times than not. He’s not a huge scoring threat, but he doesn’t need to be. When he’s looking for others, setting solid screens and hitting open shots on the offensive end, the Warriors offense flourishes.
He won’t be the starter anytime soon, but he’s earned every second he receives on the court. He should (and will) be with this team for years to come.
Oh, and how awesome is his mom?
— MARY BABERS-Green (@LTDtimes3) March 29, 2014
Your full highlights:
Tweets of the game:
The Grizzlies are a terrible matchup for the Warriors. Steph Curry is a terrible matchup for anyone alive. — Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) March 29, 2014
If I ever have a kid, I’m going to name her Draymond. — EvanZ (@thecity2) March 29, 2014