By: Yama Hazheer
The Warriors have already advanced further than they have last season in the playoffs, resulting in expectations rising on a game-by-game basis. They were the first team to move onto the second round and did so in dominating fashion.
They showed a young New Orleans Pelicans team the ropes of the playoffs and swept them away rapidly. However, a new obstacle stands in the Warriors’ quest for their first NBA title in 30 years: the Memphis Grizzlies.
Prior to the season, only the Spurs and Grizzlies were considered the teams that can beat the Warriors in a seven game series in the Western Conference. While the Spurs still possess a threat, the Grizzlies struggled in the second half of the season.
They did well against a banged-up Blazers team, but Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph didn’t play well. They both shot poorly from the field and it is essential for their front-court players to shoot high percentages. Mike Conley looks to remain sidelined for a chunk of the playoffs, and for what it’s worth, the chunk might be a small amount given the Grizzlies have to face arguably the best team in the league.
Here are the five reasons why the Warriors will beat the Grizzlies to move onto the Western Conference Finals:
5. The Warriors will have more rest
Golden State played last on Saturday night and the Grizzlies barely closed out the series on Wednesday, which resulted in a few extra days of rest and practice for the Warriors who play one of the quickest paces in the league. Playing with energy is important for the Warriors style and pace. Steve Kerr has intelligently played his players with the intent of making sure they save their energy for the postseason.
Saturday to Wednesday might be just a few days difference, but it’s been proven that rest is vital during this stretch of the season. Despite a good stretch of games for Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, the Warriors would prefer them to rest while the other playoff teams are beating each other up. It’s also obvious that Golden State would absolutely love to have Andrew Bogut get some extra days off.