The Warriors and Grizzlies meet in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals today at 12:30 at Oracle Arena. A lot of talented players on both sides, but which player will have a breakout series for the Warriors?
Is Harrison Barnes or Shaun Livingston? Our writers here at Warriors World have submitted their predictions, tell us what you think and comment at the bottom of the page:
That’s tough considering how much these two teams have played against one another with largely the same key pieces. I expect Draymond Green to be a central figure in the Warriors’ success but that may come at the expense of his stat line. With so much focus going to Curry and Thompson from Memphis’ key defenders, Harrison Barnes will have the opportunity to make a statement but has to be assertive and aggressive in order to do so.
I went with Harrison Barnes in Round 1 and that didn’t turn out too well… So let’s run it back and go with Barnes again. Let’s see if Barnes can eliminate the mid-range shots in this series and focus on taking it to the rim or shooting the corner 3s. Grizzlies don’t have any perimeter scoring threats that scare you which should help Barnes.
Leandro Barbosa was my pick for the last series and once again I am rolling with the Brazilian Blur. The Grizzlies are limping into this series and at 32 years old, Barbosa still owns a very quick first step. Barbosa gets his points in bunches and his energy off the bench is contagious. The Warriors are favored because of their depth and Barbosa will get plenty of playing time to make a difference.
Shaun Livingston didn’t have the best start the postseason, but should be able to redeem himself against the Grizzlies. Memphis is thin at the point guard position without Mike Conley. Most of their energy will go on Stephen Curry and rightfully so. Livingston will often be matched up against Nick Calathes or Beno Udrih. If Memphis does have a chance to slow the game down, it will most likely be with Livingston in the game. He will use his go-to turnaround jumper to his advantage against the second and third string guards. He has also scored nearly 8 points per game against the Grizzlies in three regular season match-ups. He is comfortable with the idea of playing a slower game and should succeed in a series that will favor him due to the Conley injury and Memphis playing style.