2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference: #2 Memphis Grizzlies vs #3 Golden State Warriors
Tale of the Tape:
|111.0 (15th)||Points Per Game||115.9 (1st)|
|105.5 (3rd)||Points Allowed Per Game||113.3 (24th)|
|14th||Pace of Play||1st|
|T-14th||Off Efficiency Rating||9th|
|1st||Def Efficiency Rating||T-13th|
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Golden State leaders:
- Stephen Curry, PG: 25.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 38% 3PT
- Klay Thompson, SG: 20.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, 38.5% 3PM
- Draymond Green, PF: 7.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.1 BPG
- Ja Morant, PG: 27.4 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 6.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 49.3% FG
- Desmond Bane, SG: 18.2 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.2 SPG, 43.6% 3PT
- Jaren Jackson Jr., PF: 16.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 2.3 BPG
- Steven Adams, Memphis: Health and Safety Protocols (Out)
- Zaire Williams, Memphis: Knee (Questionable)
- Andre Iguodala, Golden State: Back (Out)
Warriors win the series 4-3
- The Warriors unleashed another scorer in the playoffs and it might be a problem for the rest of the league. Jordan Poole was lights out against the Nuggets, averaging 22.7 points on 48.8% shooting from beyond the arc. He also chipped in 3.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.2 steals. With teams having to focus so much attention on Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Poole emerging as a dangerous third option makes this team even harder to guard on the perimeter. The fact that they can then cap a lineup off with Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green makes them a matchup nightmare.
- It also makes them small, so the Grizzlies being without Adams and Williams shouldn’t be too big of a problem. Especially with the emergence of Brandon Clarke, who averaged 15.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.6 assists during the series against the Timberwolves. Clarke is athletic enough to keep up with somebody like Green and allow the Grizzlies to still hold a rebounding advantage.
- The Grizzlies led the league in offensive rebounding rate, so that will be a key to the series if the Warriors go small. There were so many possessions late in games against the Timberwolves where the Grizzlies had three or four opportunities to knock down clutch buckets to seal or steal wins.
- Those rebounds are also crucial for Memphis because they are not a great halfcourt offense. They want to get into a track meet. That’s OK for the Warriors too. Curry is a better decision-maker in those situations than Morant is even though Morant has the flashy plays; yet, the Warriors as a team can sometimes play too fast, which leads to turnovers. The Timberwolves gave away a lot of games down the stretch, and while the Warriors are far less likely to do that, Memphis can try to force them into situations where those mistakes can become costly.
- However, this series will be dictated by how each team guards the opposing star (duh). The Warriors will likely throw Gary Payton II at Ja Morant, while the Grizzlies will need to figure out a recipe for Stephen Curry, while also accounting for Thompson and Poole.
- The Grizzlies were honestly a bit lucky to emerge from the series in Minnesota, with Minnesota coughing up three double-digit fourth-quarter leads. The Warriors won’t do that.