The Golden State Warriors are back at home for a Western conference showdown against the Memphis Grizzlies. Having lost the last 10 contests while facing the Grizz, you would figure they enter tonight with a huge chip on their shoulders. Point guard Stephen Curry will unfortunately be sitting on the sidelines after sustaining a mild concussion in Utah on Monday. Ironically he sits out with his very own bobble head night.
On the other side bench is Tony Allen, who is suspended for blatantly kicking Chris Paul in the face. Allen has been one of the Grizzlies top defensive players. So with both teams looking to fill a void in their rotations. Who will be able to counter those losses properly? The Warriors, who play very well at Oracle, or the Grizzlies who are on a 3 game win streak and are trying to climb over .500 on the road?
Andre Iguodala will step in at the point for tonight and Harrison Barnes will start at the 3 spot. We should expect to see the starters play a ton of minutes with an injury ravaged bench coupled by the possibility of Curry not being able to play in LA on Friday. Klay Thompson should see an added workload with Allen off the court. Andrew Bogut and David Lee are going to have the toughest task on the floor in guarding Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Mike Conley is averaging about 19 points a game, but against the larger bodied Iguodala he may find it to be a little more difficult to score. Quincy Pondexter will play Wednesday at small forward facing Barnes.
Both teams bolster an above average defense only allowing around 96 points per game, yet the Warriors do average 104 per game, while the Grizzlies only 95 points a game.
The keys will come down to not running out of gas early and trying to possibly jump out ahead early so the the starters can sit without compromising a lead or allowing a small deficit to become insurmountable. Either way this will be no walk in the park for the Warriors. Memphis is a tough team to beat and are looking to continue their recent dominance.