The Golden State Warriors moved to 4-0 after a dominant win at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Less than a week into their championship defense, the Warriors somehow look improved, winning their first three games by no less than 14 points and then handing the Grizzlies their worst lost in franchise history last night — a 50 point win.
Facing yet another a rematch of last year’s playoffs, the Warriors again showed why there is no other team in the league that can play on their level. After a close first quarter, the Warriors proceeded to dominate in the second and third quarter, putting up 72 while holding the Grizzlies to 27 points, outscoring Memphis by a remarkable 45 points.
The defensive and offensive abilities of this team were on full display as they held Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol to no points or rebounds combined in the second quarter and helped Curry put up 21 of his 30 points on just eight shots in the third quarter.
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Defensively, the Warriors stifled the mild Grizzlies by packing the paint and doubling their potent bigs, forcing a bad jump shooting team into 23 three-pointers. With Bogut on the sideline, Festus Ezeli had a great opportunity to find ways to contribute and create a role for himself in the Warriors’ stacked rotation. Ezeli plays much better when he focuses on defense and allow the offense to come to him. His strong effort resulted in a double-double, three blocked shots and a dozen more possessions well defended down low in only 20 minutes. In a contract year, Ezeli will have to continue his solid play to justify not signing an extension this fall.
When any team can hold Randolph and Gasol to 9 and 12 shots respectively, they are already in a great position to shut down a struggling offense. Taking away Memphis’ main point of attack, the Warriors kept the Grizzlies to season low 27 percent shooting and only three made three-pointers.
Still, the Warriors were even more impressive on offense, picking apart a strong defense with great ball movement and smart passes. Knowing how strong the Grizzlies are at individual defense, the Warriors employed a pass-first offense that let the ball do the work and forced the Grizzlies into chasing players over and around screens all night.
Curry started off slow, making only two of his first six attempts with no assists and two turnovers due to great team effort by the Grizzlies. The Warriors countered by working the ball inside-out for quick cuts to the basket and open threes. They controlled the paint throughout the game, outscoring the Grizzlies 42-28 and recorded 13 blocks. Shaun Livingston has been impressive with the second unit, often bullying opposing guards by posting up and knocking down quick turnarounds from around 10 feet. Klay Thompson, who has been struggling, put up a solid game shooting 6-of-11 for 14 points in 23 minutes. The Warriors posted 32 assists on 43 buckets on the night, which really summed up how effortless the offense has become.
Not five months removed from a dominant championship run, the Warriors have already started the season in postseason form. Four games, three playoff rematches, four wins with a combined 100 point-differential against strong Western Conference teams.
At this rate, this Warriors team will not only be looking for back-to-back championships, but also to cement their place in basketball history.