The Golden State Warriors outlasted the Memphis Grizzlies 117-116. Led by Jordan Poole’s 31 points, the Warriors stole home court advantage from the upstart Grizzlies. A lot of the discussion of this series involved the clash of styles. The Warriors, with the excellence of execution, their shooting, passing and their experience. The Grizzlies counter with their youth and athleticism, and ability to win the possession game on the glass. This much is clear after Game 1, we’re in for a heck of a series.
You can’t talk about the Warriors without talking about how they out-rebounded Memphis 51-47. They were also even on the offensive glass. It was the first time the Dubs won the rebounding battle against the Grizzlies this season. Gary Payton II was instrumental as one of 6 Warriors players with 6+ rebounds. His effort and hustle contributed to extra possessions which led to great looks for Poole and Steph Curry(5 3’s and 24 points).
For Memphis, they blew a golden opportunity after Draymond Green got ejected in the 2nd quarter for a flagrant two foul. You could make the case that it was a flagrant one, but with Green’s history (see the 2016 playoffs), the officials made a judgement call. It’s fair to say the officiating overall in the playoffs have left a lot to be desired.
Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. had great offensive games (34 and 33 points respectively) but the Grizzlies were lacking a third scorer. Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane were a combined 6-of-23 from the floor. Bane had been the Grizzlies most consistent offensive player in the playoffs so far. Brooks is always hit or miss but he was a special kind of bad in Game 1. They’ll need those two to even up the series on Tuesday night. Here are some interesting plot points which can define the series.
Ja Morant attempted 11 3’s in game 1. They’re going to force him make that shot as it’s not his strongest attribute. He made 4 of them, and the Warriors will prefer him taking those.
Here Ja gets in transition off of the blocked shot and just darts to the rim. It’s amazing how quickly he gets from end to end.
The Warriors splash trio causes so many issues for a defense. You trap one another one springs loose. Jordan Poole’s playmaking has taken a step forward in the playoffs. Here he finds Klay for the layup.
Without Draymond Green in the 2nd half, there was more pick and roll for Steph Curry. Here he’s able to get the switch and separate from Jaren Jackson to get off the three. Guarding Steph one on one might be the key to the series.
It’ll be interesting to see what adjustments both of these squads have for each other in Game 2. It feels like it’s going to be a very long series.