Grizzlies Make Their Mark in the Paint
The expected inside-vs-outside pattern is playing out in the series between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies. Give the latest nod to the outside. The teams resume their NBA Western Conference showdown Monday night, with the Grizzlies hoping to take command and the Warriors unwilling to wait until the series heads to the West Coast.
The latest segment of this strategic duel played out Saturday as Stephen Curry and the Warriors struggled from the outside, while Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies ruled the land of the big people. Randolph scored 25, and his towering teammate Marc Gasol added 21 points and 15 rebounds to lift the Grizzlies to a 99-89 victory and a 2-1 series lead. As that duo made its mark in the paint, the Warriors failed to capitalize on their usual advantage beyond the three-point line. Golden State shot 6-for-26 from long range, and Curry, usually the big weapon, was the worst of the lot. He fired in only two three-pointers in 10 chances.
It all kept the Warriors in a hole for nearly the entire game. And it is a hole they won’t climb out of until their outside shooting comes around, or they at least find a way to counter the Grizzlies big men. Golden State would normally look to Andrew Bogut or Draymond Green down under, but those two contributed a total of two baskets Saturday, and they simply couldn’t deal with Randolph and Gasol.
Maybe the Warriors will find something in some area of the floor. But right now, the once vaunted rulers of the West are battling just to stay alive. As Golden State’s Kay Thompson put it, “It’s not a must win, but it’s pretty freaking close.”
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