Boy. If you thought the last fifteen games or so were huge, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
This game lived up to its billing, and more.
Sure, I say this all the time..but it’ll be tough to pick seven things about this one…but here we go…
Thing one: Courtney Lee. Seemed logical that he was just in a typical shooter’s slump-get one or two to go in, and the immersion level on both ends would ratchet back up to where the Grizzlies need it to be. That happened. He hit his first four shots and was one of the better aspects of a dark and disappointing defensive night for the team. The Warriors schemed him well-it was largely impossible for him to get open between the wing and the elbow-so he went to the lane. Where was he in the fourth with the game on the line? Not in the game, until only 1:21 remained.
Thing two: Conley v. Curry on the scoreboard. This matchup did not go very well. There could be a debate regarding the, ahem, lack of stillness of screens that were set for Curry et. al. over the course of the game, but that’s neither here nor there. He’s the centerpiece of the Warriors, and for good reason. Curry goes 13-22 with 5-8 from distance, Conley goes 8-17 for a nice 20-point night with six assists to only one TO…but that wasn’t enough. Battle to Curry.
Thing three: Don’t really remember, and it’s too late for me to go look up, the last time the Grizzlies were outrebounded by double digits in a game. Especially a game where the opponent is missing their two top rebounders (ok, Bogut played a few minutes before leaving the game with what looked like a most unpleasant injury). Rebounding is one of those “99% perspiration” things, and the Grizzlies just didn’t do it. They were out of position a lot and hesitant (more on that later) when they were in position.
Thing four: The hesitation thing. Part of what allowed Curry to go so crazy (besides the fact that he’s so, so good) was that the Grizzlies were afraid to play him too closely for fear of his getting around and finding a teammate or two standing around under the goal (which happened anyway…). A thankfully atypical Grizzlies defensive performance in the first half especially. Tony Allen, a standout defender in any game situation, was the bright spot. Massive chaos caused by TA. Good chaos.
Thing five: Remember when Andre Iguodala was relevant? Not that he was completely-he was part of how the Warriors kept the Grizzlies from establishing anything offensively early in the game, but he’s just not a focal point at all in Oakland. Weird.
Thing six: Why did Kosta Koufos only play eight minutes? Can’t lay rebounding effort at Joerger’s feet, but a DNP for Ed Davis against a team who were outrebounding the Grizzlies by a bunch and were getting baskets at the rim is weird. Not giving Calathes a minute or two more run in Q4, or even going Conley/Calathes/Lee for a second or two, is weird. At the risk of incurring the wrath of a lot of Grizzlies fans, gotta think Leuer might have been better than Dr. JJ for some of Johnson’s minutes, or ZBo and Marc together for a longer in the final frame in place of Dr. JJ. Strange stuff.
Thing seven: I ate lunch at a restaurant called The Curry Bowl today. I’ll take the blame for this one.
Each game grows ever larger….