December 22, 2009

GSW @ MEM 12/22/09: PreThoughts

1) Memphis was our first victim this season, but does not figure to be our eighth. Our road wretchedness continues unabated, plus while nobody was looking, the Grizzlies turned into a basketball team. After starting 1-8, they've won 11 of 18, a sustained stretch of decency the likes of which we haven't seen since March of '08. These kids can play, particularly at home, where they're 8-5.

2) The Grizzlies are not only playing well, but extremely well-suited to take advantage of our smallness. Thanks mainly to Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol (both of whom are having excellent, reputation-changing seasons), the Grizz are the best offensive-rebounding team in the league; we are, needless to say, the league's weakest defensive-rebounding team. If you take a tequila shot every time we grab a board off of a Memphis miss tonight, you will be, at worst, slightly buzzed.

3) It would be a good night for us to shoot a ton of threes (these guys give up their share) and run our undersized hearts out... the Grizzlies' bench stinks, particularly on the offensive end. Come to think of it, we should probably root for a Memphis playoff push. If they stumble into a "win now" mentality, a Corey Maggette/CJ Watson offer will strike them as mighty appealing.

4) Per MTII, Monta has sat out the last two days of practice with a right thigh contusion. He's planning on playing tonight, but if there was ever a game to cap the guy at 28-30 minutes, it's this one; there's not a reason in the world to ride him hard tonight. A few stretches from a Curry/CJ backcourt will not change the outcome of this game.

5) A return to form from Anthony Morrow might. The Grizzlies are undermanned on the wing, and neither Gay nor Mayo is known for glue-tight D... this would be a perfect game for him to get back on track. Would be nice to see Nellie call his number a couple times early.

Warriors Player To Watch: Randolph's the easy answer, but for tonight, let's go with Li'l Steffy Curry. Randolph will again be playing point-center, lessening the rook's playmaking responsibilities; will Curry show the same aggressive scoring mentality he did against Washington?

Grizzlies Player To Watch: Some people are very high on him, but Rudy Gay has always struck me as the kind of shoot-and-that's-it swingman that only dumb teams (like us) fall for. I'm calling you out, friend... let's see what you got.

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