The Golden State Warriors have gotten plenty of rest the last five days, but when they return to Oracle Arena on Friday night to take on the Memphis Grizzlies, they will find the Grizzlies breathing right on their necks.
The Grizzlies, who have won three straight and eight of their last 10, are just a game back of the Warriors for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. They are playing their best basketball of the season, and will be a very tough team to beat.
Golden State, meanwhile, is in a precarious situation. The Warriors are only a game behind the fading Trail Blazers, who own the fifth spot, but they are only two games ahead of ninth-seeded Dallas and a spot in the draft lottery. There is little margin for error as the stretch run towards the postseason continues.
One negative aspect of the lengthy layoff has been that it has allowed for plenty of distractions. The reassignment of assistant coach Brian Scalabrine and the subsequent reports suggesting that there is dysfunction in the Warriors’ organization and a lack of trust between the ownership and head coach Mark Jackson have put the team in a tough spot.
However, if there is one thing that can cure the alleged “dysfunction,” it’s winning. If the Warriors build some momentum and head into the playoffs with a full head of steam, no one will be talking about dysfunction anymore.
Tale of the Tape
- Points per game: 103.5 (10th)
- Field-goal percentage: 45.9% (10th)
- Three-point percentage: 37.4% (6th)
- Defensive field-goal percentage: 43.4% (3rd)
- Rebounds per game: 45.3 (T-2nd)
- Turnovers: 15.2 (26th)
- Points per game: 95.6 (26th)
- Field-goal percentage: 46.3% (8th)
- Three-point percentage: 35.5% (18th)
- Defensive field-goal percentage: 44.5% (9th)
- Rebounds per game: 42.5 (18th)
- Turnovers: 12.9 (3rd)
Via Warriors.com game notes:
- With a win, Golden State split the season series with Memphis, the team’s first since 2009-10.
- Memphis suffered the largest defeat of the season at the hands of Golden State on December 7 (108-82).
- The Warriors have lost five-straight to the Grizzlies at home including a 81-88 loss to Memphis in their first overtime game of the year.
GSW: Andre Iguodala (right knee tendinitis) has missed the last three games. Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) is out. Nemanja Nedovic and Ogjnen Kuzmic are on assignment with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League. David Lee (hamstring) is questionable.
MEM: Quincy Pondexter (tarsal navicular stress fracture, right foot) is out. Jamaal Franklin is on D-League Assignment.
GOLDEN STATE (44-27)
- F Andre Iguodala (9.3 PPG)
- F David Lee (18.5 PPG)
- C Andrew Bogut (7.7 PPG)
- G Klay Thompson (18.2 PPG)
- G Stephen Curry (23.5 PPG)
- F Tayshaun Prince (6.0 PPG)
- F Zach Randolph (17.3 PPG)
- C Marc Gasol (13.9 PPG)
- G Courtney Lee (9.5 PPG)
- G Mike Conley (17.2 PPG)
Tip-off: 7:30 PM PST
Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA