The Memphis Grizzlies tried to deliver a crushing blow to the Golden State Warriors on Monday night in Game 4 of this Western Conference semifinal series. However, it was the Warriors who threw and landed most of the punches.
The Memphis Grizzlies Can Win Because…
They have won in Oracle Arena earlier in this series, and coming off a terrible Game 4 performance, they should be a lot better here. How much went wrong for Memphis on Monday night at home in “The Grindhouse”? Plenty. Tony Allen had his worst game of the series. Baited into taking too many shots by Golden State’s different defensive deployment, Allen went 2 of 9 from the field and was taken out of rhythm at the defensive end of the floor. He was not in a good space, and Golden State had a lot to do with that. Expect Allen to bounce back in Game 5 and play much closer to the level he expects of himself.
The Grizzlies turned the ball over 16 times in Game 4, so keep this in mind when looking at the NBA odds. A lot of those turnovers were live-ball turnovers that Golden State turned into easy baskets. Expect Memphis to cut down on those mistakes in Game 5 and force the Warriors to earn more of the points they get. The Grizzlies were just 4 of 18 from three-point range in Game 4. Courtney Lee, who had been shooting the ball well in this series, was 0 for 3 from long distance. He should be better in Game 5. Mike Conley was 4 of 15 from the field. He’s probably going to improve in Game 5. So many players did not play well, and everyone in that Memphis locker room knows what it takes to beat the Warriors. This series is not irrevocably over. Memphis can take it back.
The Golden State Warriors Can Win Because…
They returned to playing the way they were capable of in Game 4. That was the Golden State team which dominated the NBA in the regular season. The Warriors beat the physical, powerful and long Grizzlies on the defensive glass, 35-32. They collected more steals, 11-8. They blocked six more shots, 10 to 4, and all those effort plays on defense set up their offense. Golden State was able to run the floor off its blocked shots and defensive rebounds. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson got into open space and combined for 7 of 15 shooting from three-point range. They also combined to make 17 shots in 37 attempts, very nearly 50 percent. When the Splash Brothers score 48 points between them as Curry and Thompson did on Monday night, this team is on schedule. With Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes, and Andrew Bogut all playing strong defense, the Warriors have the elite combination of explosive backcourt scoring and rugged interior defense. Memphis could not solve this on Monday, and with Golden State coach Steve Kerr making the adjustment of putting Bogut on Tony Allen, the Warriors dared Allen to shoot jumpers. The tactic successfully baited Allen into taking more shots, and Memphis’ offense struggled as a result. Golden State has unlocked some secrets to beating Memphis while also returning Curry to the MVP form he showed over 82 games. Golden State is, including playoff games, 42-3 at home this season. Don’t expect Memphis to win again in Oakland.
The Grizzlies have to do so much to beat the Warriors. Now that Golden State has relieved pressure with a huge Game 4 win, it’s going to be hard for Memphis to earn a second victory in Oracle Arena. Take Golden State with your NBA picks in Game 5.
NBA Pick: Golden State at The Greek