The Warriors dominated the first half, leading by 16 points. But in his last 27 seconds he was 6-0 with Tyus Jones running and he cut Memphis’ deficit to five. The Grizzlies were building momentum out of the locker room, but they also had an elite rim protection center that kept them off the floor for three quick fouls in the first half. The Warriors needed Jackson to defend against the fourth whistle to close out.
No one knew this better than Greene. Green is a hoop genius and can be particularly focused in big matchups.He knew Jackson’s foul total was important to the Grizzlies When His insane tendency to reach moments when he shouldn’t. So, eight seconds into the half, Green came on a walk for a typical dribbling handoff with Donte DiVincenzo.
whistleGreen got what he was looking for and quickly raised four fingers toward the Memphis bench, warning the Grizzlies that it was time to kick Jackson out of the game.
The NBA scheduled this matchup to one of its Marquee Christmas matchups due to mutual disdain that neither side can hide. It’s a healthy interaction between young, rising, and confident candidates.
Memphis has a young, long, and springy core, and had a game that physically overwhelmed the older, slower Warriors. But just like his six-game second round seven months ago and his series-wide win, the Warriors look like they’ll outlast the Grizzlies in brains, and have always made champions champs in just a few ways. is beating the Grizzlies. Green luring out a Jackson foul is a small example of a game filled with them.
“They are talented,” said Klay Thompson. “We are talented. We are veterans.”
This was profiled as the worst possible time for the Warriors to acquire a motivated Grizzlies team, finally healthy after the recent return of Desmond Bain. Stephen Curry will be out for at least two more weeks, and Andrew Wiggins has played in 10 straight games, admitting a groin injury admitted by manager Steve Kerr is lasting longer than expected.
But it’s easy to say in retrospect, in fact, the Warriors’ tying the Grizzlies may prove to be the perfect time. They staggered home after his 1-5 trip that dropped him to 15-18 on the season. They needed a locked-in performance to jump-start his all-important eight-game homestand to try to step on the water long enough for Curry’s game. return.
Despite suspected leg pain, Green appeared physically fine and brought his typical focus to the big stage. He had a lot of action, 13 rebounds, 13 assists and typical technicals. Thompson didn’t shoot well, but he showed physicality on defense and was interrupted by a memorable taunt from Dillon Brooks, who stumbled after Thompson buried a jumper to lock in the win, allowing the Grizzlies to win. spent the night in
“Good old trash talk,” Thompson said. “I didn’t think it was technically justified, but I forgot the provocation rule.
Klay Thompson over Dillon Brooks. 😂
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) December 26, 2022
Klay Thompson on Dillon Brooks and Grizzlies technical taunts pic.twitter.com/MH2NGJLfKn
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 26, 2022
Jordan Poole played the most important part of the night. Beating Memphis’ defensive length and activity requires shot creators and creators. Without Curry and Wiggins, the Warriors are essentially left in a pool that had come to a rough end in their recent outing.
Poole scored 17 points in the first quarter, scoring on various step-back threes, mid-rangers and floaters past the back door behind Brooks’ physicality, Jackson’s length and the Grizzlies’ overplay scheme. did. He scored his 32 points in 29 minutes early in the fourth quarter. But it was also when he looked down on official Mark Davis after a no-call, hit in the second technical and was automatically sent off, Poole’s eighth of the season. It was technical.
“He knows he can’t get a second one,” Kerr said. “He’s still a young player. Jordan was great tonight. We needed his offensive firepower. That included playing calmly, avoiding the umpire, handling the ball, etc. But he’s been doing a great job competing and helping us survive. I have.”
After Poole’s exit, Bain hit a free throw to cut the Warriors’ lead to 16 with 9:20 remaining. Without context, that margin looks comfortable, but given the lack of bench punching the Warriors have shown for most of the season, it felt vulnerable without Curry, Wiggins and Poole.
But that’s what made this game different for them, and it was encouraging. The focused veterans took the lead, followed by a younger group behind them. Kerr joined a lineup that included Jonathan Cuminga, Moses Moody and James Weisman late in the first quarter, giving the Warriors a two-point lead in the five-minute stretch against one of the deepest teams in the league. Raised.
Kerr sent them into the rotation again in the second half, with all three lottery picks giving them productive time. Moody scored his 10 points and he had three possessions in the fourth quarter after a Poole ejection. he was a plus two. Kuminga made eight free throws. He was plus 21. Weisman didn’t even shoot in his eight minutes, but he displayed perhaps his best stretch of defense early in his career.
After Wiseman’s first-half run, Kerr came in to hype him up and even inform him of his only negative: “The foul was on the Bulls..”
“He was great on defense,” Kerr said of Wiseman. “Great. On a paint patrol. I can stay between the ball and the basket and still cover Rollman.”
Steve Kerr said of the James Wiseman vs. Memphis Proceedings: Great. ”
He said his time spent in Santa Cruz was invaluable in understanding the nuances of drop coverage. pic.twitter.com/s4vruGoG61
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 26, 2022
Kerr went into more detail about the development of Weisman (and Kuminga and Moody’s) in an extended interview in New York last week.
But these are the types of improved possession Kerr refers to. In a 10-second clip, he bottles multiple pick-and-roll his actions and comes to the weak side to contest shots.
Or how about this as an encouraging sequence for the Warriors’ front office and coaching staff? Kuminga opens on Ja Morant. The Grizzlies sift him out for Morant to attack Wiseman. Kuminga realizes it and returns to play in time to stop Morant’s baseline his drive. Wiseman recognizes it and returns to a position protecting the rim. Morant dribbles an out-of-bounds pass.
Donte DiVincenzo continued his appearance with two big 3s in the first quarter and a total of five for 19 points. Anthony Lamb in the first half he scored three 3s. Ty Jerome had what Kerr called the biggest sequence of the night, in a span of 65 seconds he made three straight his jumpers to give the Warriors the separation they needed. They get useful production from both two-way contract players.
It all came together to secure their second official win in their last two home games. The Warriors, despite his 16-18 record, beat the Celtics pretty convincingly without Wiggins, beat the Grizzlies without Curry and Wiggins, and were a taunt all along. These were his two biggest threats in the playoffs a season ago. Neither rival has yet resolved them in a favorable scenario.
“I just challenged the players to build it,” Kerr said. “We have seven games in a row at home. increase.”
(Photo of Draymond Green playing Jaren Jackson Jr. by Darren Yamashita/USA Today)