The Golden State Warriors had the best record during the regular season, yet have struggled in their Western Conference semifinal series against the Memphis Grizzlies.
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By Enrique Austria.
After getting off to a hot start and winning the opening game of the playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies, the shining Golden State Warriors seems to be dimming as they have lost the next two following games. The Grizzlies, who were outmatched 86-101 in game 1, have bounced back nicely and have been giving the NBA’s regular season golden boys a difficult time. As Memphis looks to keep the momentum rolling, the Warriors need to elevate their play to the level they have shown throughout the NBA regular season or face elimination.
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In game two of this Western Conference Semifinal series, the Warriors were surpassed by the Grizzlies in every statistical category with the exception of rebounds and blocks. They shot an abysmal 23 percent from the three-point line, going 6-26. This included uninspiring displays from All-Star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, shooting 2-11 and 1-6 respectively from deep. In addition, the Warriors committed 20 turnovers, which translated to 13 steals for the Grizzlies. Many of these woes then carried over to the next game. In game three, Golden State continued to struggle from distance, once again going 6-26, and recorded 17 turnovers.
These were uncharacteristic performances by a team who has been heralded as one of, if not, the best team in the Western Conference. Golden State will not advance if they continue to produce lackluster showings such as this. Another major problem and contributing factor for the Warriors’ recent struggles is their inability to contain the Memphis Grizzlies big men, especially Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. They have been feasting and accomplishing most of their damage in the paint, doing their work on the boards by grabbing rebounds in bunches, and playing tough hard-nosed basketball. Golden State desperately needs to find some answers on how to stop this formidable duo.
Lastly, the Golden State Warriors are a young team, who in recent years, have not accomplished much in the playoffs. Unfortunately, their youth, and inexperience have been on full display as of late. Whereas, the Memphis Grizzlies have gone deep in the playoffs in previous years and look the part of a more seasoned team. In order for the Warriors to win, the Splash Brothers’ drought needs to end, the turnovers need to be kept to a minimum, and the team as a whole must find a way back to spectacular form that they know they are capable of. If Golden State does not make the necessary adjustments and stop the bleeding now, they will fail to achieve their NBA Championship aspirations and will not be able to have their moment in the sun.