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Game Thread: Iguodala back, most of roster out against Grizzlies
Can the youths (and old men Iguodala and Looney) find a win?
The Golden State Warriors have really taken this whole “two timelines” idea to the extreme. With an eye on the post season, coach Steve Kerr is resting large swaths of the roster; even as Andre Iguodala finally returns to hopefully help steady what has been an extremely wobbly ride for the Warriors.
Tonight’s opponents, the Memphis Grizzlies are one of the scarier potential matchups — even as they are also playing at something less than full strength with rising star, Ja Morant out.
Some major injury update news tonight: Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Otto Porter Jr. are all out tonight (along with Curry); and Gary Payton II is questionable.
But Andre Iguodala is back, baby!
WHO: Golden State Warriors (48-27) at Memphis Grizzlies (52-23)
WHEN: Monday, March 28th, 2022 // 5pm PDT
WATCH: NBCSBA; NBATV
This is the last leg of a painful road trip, but the Warriors aren’t in for any sort of friendly homecoming. After the Grizzlies today, they’ve got the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday, and then the Utah Jazz on Saturday. The time for tuning up, ramping up, or whatever it’s supposed to be is here, and unfortunately, Golden State finds themselves off their balance.
So instead, it’s rest for the veterans tonight, and an eye on the “future” part of the roster.
This game may be a tough one, but personally, I find myself rooting for these guys. Obviously, not over the Warriors, but it’s hard to not like this Grizzlies squad:
I don’t like to include such large text blocks, but these quotes from Iguodala and Kerr from Anthony Slater’s excellent recap here, really frame the situation perfectly to me:
“Well, I mean we don’t have no choice but to come together,” Iguodala said. “With Steph out, we’re seeing how valuable he is. It’s always funny. When he’s out, you see how valuable he is and it takes him being out for people to understand what he means to us. But I think we’ll be fine. Even using the playoffs as a building block. You can use it to get better toward going deeper into the playoffs. But we gotta win and advance. Any time together is a good time together. We’d rather have it before. But it’s just the circumstances.”
The idea of the Warriors using a first-round series against an opponent like the Nuggets or Mavericks or Jazz to spark a match and generate rhythm sounds like a risky proposition that could lead to an early exit.
“It’s not risky because it’s not our choice,” Kerr said. “It’s just necessity. I’ve seen that before. Where teams go into the playoffs — whether it’s injuries, a slump or whatever — and they have to get tested and they have to get past that test. But when they do, they spring forward. I agree with Andre. I think that may be what we have to face in order to take the next step. I think we’re capable of it.”
We have no choice but to come together! You heard ‘em.