Game: Memphis Grizzlies vs Golden State Warriors
Time: 9:30 CST
Place: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
Records: Memphis (9-6), Golden State (5-10)
Expected Starting Lineups:
Memphis – Mike Conley, Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Marreese Speights, Marc Gasol
Golden State – Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Dorrell Wright, David Lee, Andris Biedrins
Memphis, in case you haven’t noticed, has been playing some of the best basketball in the NBA lately. After suffering a 2nd heartbreaking loss to OKC, at home no less, the Grizzlies have run off 6 consecutive wins to take over first place in the Southwest Division. However, outside of Chicago minus Derrick Rose on Martin Luther King Day, not one of the games have been against a team considered a serious challenge to the Grizzlies making the playoffs. However, no one has been beating teams as badly as the Grizzlies have done over their winning streak finishing with a 33 point drubbing of Sacramento who had defeated San Antonio the night before. The Grizzlies are doing this without their leader Zach Randolph who is not expected back until March 2.
This is the first game of a difficult 4 games in 7 days road trip with Portland, the Clippers and Suns coming up next.
Golden State has been resting at home since their tight loss to Indiana on Friday night, an unusually long break for this season, so the Warriors should be well rested for the game. Stephen Curry returned in the Pacers game after missing the previous 8 games with an injured ankle. The Warriors have lost their last two games to fall 5 games below .500, 2nd worst record in the Western Conference, but are in the middle of a four game home stand with Portland and Oklahoma City coming up in the next few days.
The Warriors are led by Monta Ellis, the 6th leading scorer in the league at 23.3 ppg, David Lee has begun to fit into the Warriors system and is averaging 18.6 ppg and 10.6 rpg. However the key figure could be Dorrell Wright. When Wright plays over 30 minutes in a game the Warriors are 4-3. In games where Wright fails to reach 30 minutes the Warriors are a disappointing 1-7. Golden State has won three straight games at home against Memphis.
Prediction: Memphis in a close game