Steph Curry and the Warriors have to face the Grizzlies again with the 8th seed on the line. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)
- Following the Warriors’ loss to the Lakers on Wednesday, Golden State meets Memphis in the Play-In tournament
- The Grizzlies got the better of the Spurs in the first round of the Play-In
- Read below for the latest odds, injury report and betting preview
Having matched up last Sunday, the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies once again go head-to-head this Friday. It’s win-or-go-home in the final game of the Western Conference Play-In tournament. The winner faces the Utah Jazz in the first round of the NBA playoffs, while the loser heads into the offseason.
Golden State is favored by 3.5 points following their dramatic loss to the Lakers on Wednesday. Memphis outplayed the Spurs to secure their place in Friday’s game, but they were comfortably beaten by the Warriors in the final game of the regular season last weekend.
It will be fascinating to see what adjustments are made given how recently these two teams played.
Warriors vs Grizzlies Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total Points|
|Golden State Warriors||-3.5 (-110)||-158||OTB|
|Memphis Grizzlies||+3.5 (-110)||+134||OTB|
Odds as of May 20th
Curry vs Brooks
Dillon Brooks kept Steph Curry comparatively quiet last Sunday. Unfortunately, no other Memphis defender could slow down the two-time MVP. Curry was able to explode when guarded by non-Brooks defenders, finishing with 46 points including nine threes.
Brooks was able to not only make Curry inefficient, he forced the ball out of his hands and did an immense job at tracking Curry off-ball.
STEPH CURRY IS A CHEAT CODE! pic.twitter.com/Ty5AqmNV9e
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) May 20, 2021
Curry put up 37 on 23 shots as the Warriors fell to the Lakers. He has broken records on a daily basis over the last couple of months. If Brooks can stay on the floor – and replicate his defensive performance from Sunday – the Grizzlies have a chance. If fouls take him out of the game early, there’s a risk that the greatest shooter in NBA history blows Memphis away.
After the Lakers aggressively defended Curry off pick-and-rolls and did all they could to make him give up the ball, the Grizzlies must be tempted to employ a similar tactic. Jonas Valanciunas limits their options to a degree, but Jaren Jackson Jr. could be used to trap off Curry and Draymond Green pick-and-rolls.
DILLON BROOKS, WOW ‼️ pic.twitter.com/nDqjO8MTQv
— ESPN (@espn) May 19, 2021
Having been dominated by Curry so recently, defensive tweaks from Memphis seem inevitable.
Memphis’ Search for Offense
The Warriors have been an elite defense in the second half of the season. They kept the Lakers stars quiet for the majority of Wednesday’s game. While Valanciunas was efficient for his 29 on Sunday, the rest of the Grizzlies struggled. They were 24% from three as a team. The other four starters were 22-for-57 from the field.
Jaren Jackson Jr. calls Memphis teammate Dillon Brooks “pretty much the best wing defender in the league.” Brooks was a big factor in DeMar DeRozan’s 5-of-21 shooting night.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 20, 2021
Even if they can keep Curry to below 35 points, Memphis needs more on the offensive end. They rank in the bottom 10 in three-point volume and efficiency, but they need to make some outside shots on Friday. Golden State was happy to collapse the defense into the paint at the weekend, making life difficult for Ja Morant. They will follow the same blueprint when the teams meet in San Francisco in a winner-takes-all game.
Andrew Wiggins has been playing great basketball at both ends of late. He’s scored 42 points across the last two games. Even if the Grizzlies keep Curry relatively quiet, they are going to need a complete offensive performance to stay close to these Warriors.
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Warriors vs Grizzlies Projected Lineups
|Steph Curry||PG||Ja Morant|
|Kent Bazemore||SG||Dillon Brooks|
|Andrew Wiggins||SF||Kyle Anderson|
|Draymond Green||PF||Jaren Jackson Jr|
|Kevon Looney||C||Jonas Valanciunas|
Warriors vs Grizzlies Injury Report
Golden State was without Kelly Oubre (wrist) and Damion Lee (COVID-19 protocols) for the game with the Lakers. Oubre isn’t expected to return any time soon, while it’s unclear when Lee will be available for selection. With Steve Kerr using a shrunken rotation, there’s a good chance Lee would be a DNP anyway.
Klay Thompson (Achilles) and James Wiseman (knee) are long-term absentees.
Just imagine this exact same Warriors team with a healthy Klay Thompson next season. 👀 pic.twitter.com/pca5NoCuu2
— TheWarriorsTalk (@TheWarriorsTalk) May 16, 2021
For Memphis, it’s a clean injury report with Jaren Jackson Jr. back in the starting five. Grayson Allen was a game-time decision against San Antonio as he recovers from an abdominal issue.
The sharpshooting wing played only a handful of minutes, though he could be in for a bigger role on Friday as the Grizz search for shooting. As Brooks struggles to stay out of foul trouble, Taylor Jenkins could give more minutes to De’Anthony Melton on Steph Curry.
Warriors vs Grizzlies Prediction
Golden State finished the season incredibly strongly. Only three teams had a better net rating over the final 15 games. Their performance against the Lakers showed that was no end-of-season fluke. Their defense has been awesome throughout. In Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Kent Bazemore, they are getting enough offense around Curry.
Draymond Green didn’t make a field goal tonight. He finished with:
Held AD to 4-13 FG
Insane impact defensively. pic.twitter.com/d2pYZqIkCn
— StatMuse (@statmuse) May 20, 2021
This is a tough, industrious Grizzlies team. With Jackson still working back, though, they are just lacking the offensive firepower to be seen as a real threat.
Experience matters in big games like this. The same goes for elite level talent. The Warriors come out on top in both categories, and they are playing strong two-way basketball. Having won by 12 points a few days ago, bettors should feel very comfortable taking the Warriors at -3.5.
- Pick: Golden State Warriors -3.5 (-110)
Sam Cox is a freelance writer and sports junkie, who has spent the past several years immersed in the online gaming industry. He has worked with 888sport, Oddschecker, and Colossus Bets to name a few. Based in the UK, Sam also runs Franchise Sports with his brother.