Memphis Grizzlies vs Golden State Warriors 5/7/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors Matchup Preview (5/7/22)
The Memphis Grizzlies (1-1) go on the road to face the Golden State Warriors (1-1) in Game 3 on Saturday night. Memphis avoided a 0-2 series deficit by winning 106-101 in Game 2. They shot a terrible 39.6 FG% and 31.1 3PT%. Dillon Brooks was ejected in the first three minutes of the game for clubbing Payton II in the head while he was attempting a layup. Considering the shooting woes and Brooks’ ejection, it was fortunate they were able to escape with a win. Ja Morant absolutely took over the game and carried the Grizzlies in crunch time. He produced 47 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on 15/31 from the field and 5/12 from three. Jaren Jackson Jr fouled out in 28 minutes, which has been a recurring problem in his career. He finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds on 3/14 shooting. Desmond Bane, who has been dealing with a back issue, once again looked subdued and passive. Bane only had 5 points on 2/7 shooting in 32 minutes. Besides Ja, the player of the game for Memphis was rookie Ziaire Williams. He added 14 points and 5 rebounds off the bench on 4/8 from three. Down 83-80 with 8:55 left in the 4th, Williams hit back-to-back threes to give Memphis momentum. With Dillon Brooks suspended for Game 3, the Grizzlies will need impactful minutes from Williams.
Golden State should have won Game 2, but their biggest strength disappeared the entire game. They went 7/38 (18.4%) from three, which is astoundingly bad considering the players they have. Stephen Curry paced the Warriors in scoring; he had 27 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists on 3/11 from deep. Klay Thompson scored 12 points on uncharacteristic 2/12 three-point shooting. Jordan Poole added 20 points and 5 assists from the bench, but he was 1/6 from three. Draymond was hit in the eye early and missed time to receive stitches. In 32 minutes, he ended up with 6 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. Andrew Wiggins and Otto Porter Jr kept the Warriors alive the entire game by providing multiple opportunities on possessions. Wiggins secured 5 offensive rebounds, and Porter Jr grabbed 3 offensive rebounds. Golden State stole a game on the road, so they should feel elated that they own home-court advantage from this point on. However, Gary Payton II is out for the foreseeable future because of a fractured elbow. They must address that issue because he was a starter for this series.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors Betting Odds
The spread for Game 3 is -7 Warriors, which is a large line considering the Grizzlies have gone toe-to-toe with the Warriors all year. However, I like the Warriors to cover the spread and take a 2-1 series lead. Brooks’ absence is a crucial loss for the Memphis offense because Ja doesn’t have a reliable partner. Bane’s injury is seriously hindering him, and Jackson Jr is an inconsistent shooter who cannot stay out of foul trouble. Golden State, meanwhile, has a multitude of elite offensive weapons who can create their own shot. The Warriors are also at home for Game 3, which is perhaps the biggest factor here. They outscore opponents by 9.9 PPG at home compared to 1.2 PPG on the road. Klay shoots 2.5% better from three at home, Poole shoots 3% better, and Wiggins shoots 6.3% better. Home-court advantage will boost Golden State immensely, and I expect them to win by 9-12 points in Game 3.
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Time: 8:30 PM ET
Arena: Chase Center – San Francisco, CA
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Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup
Memphis Grizzlies Analysis
Ja Morant excelled in Game 2, and the Grizzlies need him to repeat that performance in Game 3. He fearlessly attacked the rim and exploited the Warriors weak rim protection. Morant got to the charity stripe 13 times because Golden State couldn’t stop him without fouling. His perimeter shooting, though, was the key towards his dominance. He went 5/12 from three, and that included step-back threes off the dribble. The Warriors were often having the primary defender drop towards the paint and giving Ja plenty of space from three. Their goal was to pack the paint and deter him from driving. If Morant can continue to hit his threes, the Warriors will be forced to guard him closely, which is when he can beat them off the dribble and drive for a high percentage layup. Morant is going to kill the Warriors at the rim all game, but his three-point shooting will be the factor that elevates his impact and opens up the court for him to slash.
Memphis cannot count on the Warriors to shoot 18.4 3PT% again, so the offense must produce more than 106 points. The front-court needs to impose their will on both sides of the ball and balance the offense. Jackson Jr is averaging 25.9 MPG this postseason because of his 5 fouls per game. He is a rangy 6’11” hybrid who led the league in BPG while being able to switch on the perimeter. Memphis needs his defense to shut down Draymond’s facilitation and protect the rim from Curry and Poole’s drives. His size can limit Golden State’s offensive rebounds, and his shooting will space the floor for Morant. He scored 33 points on 6/9 from three in Game 1, which is exactly the performance Memphis needs in Game 3. Brandon Clarke, meanwhile, is an interior force who ranked 13th in Offensive Rebound Percentage this season. His ability to provide second chance points while pressuring the rim can attack the Warriors weak center rotation. Memphis will not out-shoot the Warriors from deep, but they can crush them at the rim, get to the free throw line, and secure more FGA from offensive rebounds.
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineup
Golden State Warriors Analysis
Because Gary Payton II is out for the series, the Warriors have a serious defensive problem. Who is going to guard Ja Morant? Curry is a decent defender, but he doesn’t have the frame or quickness to stop Morant. Klay is not the defender he used to be since the injuries, and Poole is a mediocre defender at best. Curry likely gets the nod, but it will force him to exert more energy on the defensive end. Golden State needs him at his best on the offensive end, so it would be beneficial to spare him minutes guarding Ja. Enter their secret weapon: rookie Jonathan Kuminga. He’s a 6’7” hyper-athletic wing who has the lateral quickness and range to guard multiple positions. The Warriors can afford to have Kuminga rack up fouls, but they cannot have Curry get into foul trouble. Kuminga won’t stop Ja, but he is arguably their best option to stop Ja’s drives given his length and leaping ability. By no means should Kuminga be the primary defender for the majority of the game; however, he is a plus defender who can soak up minutes defending Morant while sparing Curry.
Otto Porter Jr has been fantastic for the Warriors this postseason despite struggling mightily on the offensive end. They are +13 per 100 possessions with him on the court. In Game 2, he grabbed 9 rebounds (3 offensive) and led the team with a +17 plus minus. The second best mark in that department was Wiggins with a +3 mark. His size allows the Warriors to compete with the Grizzlies on the boards, and he provides decent interior defense. Hopefully with Golden State being at home, Porter Jr will shoot better. He was a 39.1 3PT% shooter at home this season, and a 34.1 3PT% shooter on the road. If he can provide his normal offensive value, then Golden State will have a weapon off the bench who can fill in for Wiggins when he rests.