Game Preview: Warriors vs. Grizzlies

Game 6 Preview: Warriors vs. Grizzlies - 5/13/22

Dubs Look to Close Out the Series at Home
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BIGGEST GAME IN CHASE CENTER HISTORY
Up 3-2 in their series with the Grizzlies, the Warriors are one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals. Friday’s Game 6 will be the Warriors’ second attempt at such after Wednesday’s Game 5 defeat in Memphis, but the Warriors have gone undefeated at home this postseason (5-0) and have won their last seven at Chase Center overall. And speaking of Chase Center, this will be the biggest game in the three season existence of the Warriors’ new home, as a win will earn them a trip to the conference finals while a loss would push the series back to Memphis for a series-deciding Game 7.

LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors never held a lead in Wednesday’s 134-95 loss to the Grizzlies. Stephen Curry found Jordan Poole for an open 3-pointer in the second quarter that brought the Dubs within 11 points, but Memphis answered with a 14-0 run and the Dubs never threatened a comeback in the Game 5 defeat. » Full Game Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

Playoff Ranks
GSW MEM
PTS: 114.6 (1st) PTS: 114.0 (2nd)
REB: 41.2 (7th) REB: 46.1 (2nd)
AST: 28.2 (1st) AST: 25.5 (3rd)

UPS AND DOWNS
The Warriors have seen their fair share of ups and downs this series. They’ve trailed by double figures in each game, but have come back to win or threaten to win in four of the five games so far. Three of the five games have gone down to the wire, and each team has won a blowout on their home court. Stephen Curry has averaged team-highs of 25.4 points and 6.0 assists this series, but Memphis has gained success with their size advantage and is making over three more 3-pointers per game this series than their regular season averages. The Warriors are surely happy to be playing this game at Chase Center, as the Dubs have shot the ball better from all distances at home this series (FG%: 50.9 at home, 45.1% on road; 3FG%: 37.7% at home, 30.4% on road; FT%: 90.7% at home, 70.6% on road).

PREVIOUS GAME STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga and Draymond Green
MEM: Tyus Jones, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Steven Adams

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Otto Porter Jr. (sore right foot) is TBD. Andre Iguodala (left cervical disc injury), Gary Payton II (fractured elbow) and James Wiseman (right knee injury management) are out. Team Notes
MEM: Ja Morant (right knee bone bruise), Santi Aldama (right knee soreness) and Killian Tillie (lower back procedure recovery) are out. Team Notes

DUBS DEPTH PUT TO THE TEST
Andre Iguodala has yet to play a minute in this series, Gary Payton II suffered a fractured elbow in the opening minutes of Game 2 and Otto Porter Jr. didn’t play in the second half of Game 5 due to right foot soreness, resulting in the Warriors going perhaps deeper into their bench they initially planned. Payton was the team’s best perimeter defender, Iguodala has proven time and time again to come through in pressure-packed situations and Otto Porter Jr. has been the team’s leader in plus-minus rating this series, and replacing that kind of production is no easy task, but the Warriors do have options. Jonathan Kuminga has started the last three games and offers strength and athleticism that can match up with the Grizzlies’ front line. Damion Lee is a trusted veteran who has won the Warriors games this season and while Nemanja Bjelica, Moses Moody and Juan Toscano-Anderson haven’t logged heavy minutes this postseason, they have had their bright spots in limited minutes. Role players typically play better at home in the playoffs, and there will be no better time than Game 6 for the Warriors’ reserves to provide a spark off the bench.

TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS

GSW MEM
PTS: Curry (26.7) PTS: Morant (27.1)
REB: Wiggins (6.5) REB: Morant (8.0)
AST: Green (6.5) AST: Morant (9.8)

MEMPHIS SCOUTING REPORT
One of the themes of this series has been the Grizzlies putting the Warriors in an early hole. The Grizzlies have held the lead at the end of the first quarter in each of the first five games of the series, and strong 3-point shooting has fueled those first quarter runs. Even without Ja Morant, who is doubtful for the remainder of the playoffs with a right knee bone bruise, the Grizzlies took it to the Warriors on Wednesday with a level of physicality that the Warriors simply didn’t answer in Game 5. Desmond Bane played his best game of the series on Wednesday night, scoring 21 points on 6-for-12 shooting, and Tyus Jones – starting in place of Morant – also played a near flawless game with 21 points, nine assists and no turnovers. The size of Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson has proven to be a problem for the Warriors, but the Dubs have managed to win the rebounding battle in the first four games. Memphis is leading the NBA in points off turnovers this postseason (21.2 per game) and is second in second chance points (15.8). Adjustments will certainly be made after the Warriors’ subpar effort in Game 5, and taking care of the ball and working the boards will certainly be at or near the top of the Dubs’ list for Friday night.

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