Warriors finally avenge themselves with victory over Grizzlies in Chase Center
Does anyone play the Warriors better than Memphis?
The Memphis Grizzlies smash through defenses headfirst like power running backs. They enjoy the contact that comes with forcing their way through the chest and arms of backpedaling defenders. There’s some Iversonian moments where young star Ja Morant decides he’s getting to the rim and there’s not much anyone can do about it.
I’m not sure which Grizzly player it was who shouted, “Yeaaaa muthaf******” after this daring and-1 from Morant, but it was loud and cutting.
And then when Morant hit the Dubs with another downhill finish for an and-1, the Memphis bench roared like they were conquering Spartans stomping the will out of their foes.
These Grizz were feeling a little too at home in the Chase Center, but with good reason. After all, they did end Golden State’s desperate attempt to win without Klay Thompson last year, and handed them their first loss of this fresh new season. Both games came in San Francisco.
Even the Grizzlies’ official Twitter started getting spicy, mocking the Bay Area hyphy anthem “Tell Me When To Go” after Memphis posterized the prize lottery pick Jonathan Kuminga.
Oh we quoting E-40 now? Lol aiite.
But the Grizz have beaten the Warriors enough to earn some confidence. And as a teams jockeying for playoff position in the West, I’d bet they expected a win against Stephen Curry and Draymond Green without the aid of Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Andrew Wiggins, Damion Lee, and James Wiseman.
And yet… the depleted Warriors got it done in a 113-104 victory. Let’s get into how the Dubs combined preposterously accurate long range marksmanship with some good ol’ GRIT-N-GRIND.
Bears don’t like air attacks
The title of this section corresponds to a well known fact in nature: bears (like a lot of other creatures) have trouble with the supreme air predator known as the Golden Eagle.
In much the same way last night the Grizz had problems with the supreme threeballs Golden State launched on their heads.
The Dubs hit 19-of-40 from downtown, getting consistent splashes from role players.
3PT Shooting vs Grizz
Gary Payton II 4-of-7
Nemanja Bjelica 3-of-6
Otto Porter Jr. 2-of-4
Jonathan Kuminga (!) 2-of-3
I’m sure we expected Bjelica and OPJ to hit like that; that’s a huge part of the reason the Warriors added them this offseason.
But GP2 and the rookie Kuminga confidently burying threes is a scary bonus for a squad that primarily has used those two physical marvels on the court for defensive and dunking purposes. Hitting those shots in that playoff type atmosphere bodes WELL for their chances of staying on the court in high pressure situations. These two could potentially create a defensive fortress without sacrificing offensive flow.
You know what else bodes well? Curry going berserk. The greatest shooter of all-time led the barrage with a masterclass against one of his peskier antagonists Dillon Brooks, finishing with 46 points and 8-of-14 shooting from three.
Did anyone catch Kevon Looney hitting Brooks like Ken Norton Jr. on this screen? BAM!
Klay Thompson for his career has shot about 42% from deep. Andrew Wiggins currently leads the team in 3PT percentage at 42%. Isn’t it kind of scary that neither of them played last night and the Dubs still efficiently buried the Grizz with bombs?
Taking what the defense gives you
Wow they really doubled Steph 94 feet away from the basket. That allowed Draymond to exorcise Dub Nation from the grief of his missed floater in the play-in game against Memphis.
This had to make DNHQ commenter Basketbum smile; Draymond scoring points while Steph was shackled was probably BB’s Christmas wish.
I cracked up laughing on this next play when Dray got fed up with being overcrowded on a wing postup. Normally this play is designed for Steph and Co. to orchestrate a tight series of dance steps to disorient the defense and free either Unanimous or somebody else for a quality look. This time, Dray decided to punish the Grizz for trying to bully him.
That’s old school playground basketball right there! Charles Barkley must have spent some time with Dray in the offseason. Do you see why Coach Steve Kerr spent last year throwing postups at young giant James Wiseman to get his feet wet? Can you imagine Wiseman developing a decent enough postgame to take advantage of mismatches in that spot and bully his way to the rack?
Heck, maybe he could be Dirk 2.0, turning to face up and loft beautiful midrange jumpers from there. But if that’s asking too much, he can just be Javale 2.0 and set screens and rolls forever with thunderous dunks, that’s cool too.
Better yet, what if I just give him the space and grace to grow into his own player? You know, the more I think about it, we should really encourage our youth to find their own path in the journey of life without forcing too much of our own aspirations on them, amirite?
Wait, is that Juan Toscano-Anderson getting easy money in the post as Memphis is too distracted trying to account for the Warriors’ deep spacing and frenetic off-ball movement?
Yeah scratch all that nonsense I said about not putting specific demands Wiseman; I NEED YOU TO DOMINATE THE BLOCK YOUNG SIR!
The Dubs are 26-6 heading into Christmas. And that’s why they should trade Wiseman, Kuminga, Moses Moody, Wiggins, and three future draft picks to the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons so they don’t waste Steph’s prime, right? RIGHT?