Winning the 2022 NBA Finals for their fourth championship in the last eight seasons, the Golden State Warriors didn’t look like the Warriors we’re used to seeing and on Christmas Day they drew against the Memphis Grizzlies , one of the best teams in the whole league.
Going into this game with a 15-18 record, the Warriors were also without Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins. However, there’s just something about being home at Chase Center for the big games that brings out the best in the Warriors, even their second-unit guys who haven’t been the most productive lately. time !
Jaren Jackson Jr. made the first basket of that game for Memphis, giving them a 2-0 lead to start things off, but from that point on Golden State proved why they are the defending champions and even without two of their All-Star talents. , they dominated one of the best teams in the league.
The Warriors, a significantly smaller team than the Grizzlies, outshot Memphis 51-44, they limited their turnovers to just 12 and the Warriors outshot the Grizzlies by 27 on three-pointers, shooting 18-44 (40 .9%) as a team. .
Jordan Poole had 32 points on 11-25 shooting before picking up two technical fouls and Klay Thompson had 24 points, but the story in this one was that the Warriors bench stepped up to score 42 points, led by Ty Jerome with 14 dots.
Ja Morant had 36 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists for Memphis, but the Warriors held the Grizzlies quiet most of the night offensively, their next leading scorers being Dillon Brooks and Tyus Jones with 13 points apiece.
They locked down defensively, they played with energy, and most importantly, the Warriors didn’t turn the ball over, leading them to a massive 123-109 win over the Grizzlies at home.
Golden State still has a lot of work to do to return to its championship standards, but this game is absolutely the type of victory that can propel a team like the Warriors from a confidence standpoint.
It was a thrilling game filled with chatter for the full 48 minutes and here are the biggest takeaways from the Warriors’ win over the Grizzlies.
Golden State appears in big games… especially at home
There really is no explanation from the Golden State Warriors this season simply because head coach Steve Kerr doesn’t have an answer either!
Who knows if this is a “championship hangover” or something else, but the Warriors haven’t been dominant this season and they’ve really struggled on the road, posting just a record 3 -16 away from Chase Center.
However, when they’re in San Francisco, they look like the dynasty they are, as this win over the Grizzlies improves them to 13-2 at home this season.
Not to mention that the Warriors live for those big games against the best of the best or vacation games.
They beat Cleveland at home, they beat Boston at home earlier this month and their win over Toronto last week was no pushover either!
Again, the Warriors still have a lot of work to do to get back to the NBA Finals this season and potentially defend their championship, but they’re giving it their all at home and against the best of the best like the Grizzlies. , Golden State locks down.
Their next “big game” will be against Phoenix on January 10 and that game will also take place at Chase Center, so it will be interesting to see if the Warriors use their home crowd and that “big game energy” to their advantage again. .
Donte DiVincenzo continues to prove his worth
With Curry and Wiggins out, Jordan Poole and some second unit guys stepped up and played big minutes, but Donte DiVincenzo is really starting to find his footing with this franchise, which is great news for the Warriors.
Over his last five games, DiVincenzo has averaged 14.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists while shooting 39.1% from three points.
He can hold multiple positions and due to his athleticism, DiVincenzo plays way above his waist, especially when attacking the glass for rebounds.
The extra push DiVincenzo is giving the Warriors has seen them find some success with Curry and Wiggins out of training at the moment and when they are fully healthy, Donte DiVincenzo will be yet another spark they can bring to the team. Thurs the bench alongside Jordan Poole.
He’s a proven three-point shooter, moves well off the ball and DiVincenzo isn’t afraid of big moments, which is why he’s a perfect fit with this team’s championship DNA.
No matter how long Stephen Curry or Andrew Wiggins are sidelined, Donte DiVicnenzo’s production for this team is extremely valuable in the long run.
Grizzlies show weakness in their youth and state of mind
The Memphis Grizzlies are a great team with championship aspirations, don’t get me wrong, but they’re still a young team and when things weren’t going their way against the Warriors, they started falling apart. and constantly complaining, eliminating them. pace and changing state of mind since they are not used to hanging around.
It’s something that affected the Grizzlies in the playoffs last year and, quite honestly, it’s something that Golden State, a proven veteran team, is going to be looking to expose them to.
As for the Warriors, they have some young pieces to lean on at the moment, but overall they’re an experienced team with league leaders who are constantly pushing things in the right direction with a mentality of “next game”.
Now, that’s not to say the Warriors aren’t complaining because they’ve done quite a bit of that all season, but in the case of the Grizzlies, they’re not a proven team that necessarily knows how to bounce back. a broken cover defensively or a bad call from the referees.
The Grizzlies will win a ton of games this season and it shouldn’t come as a shock to see them finally claim the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, that’s how good they are.
However, when it comes time for the playoffs, young teams usually don’t go far because experience and mentality matter so much.
This is where the Warriors have the advantage over the Grizzlies right now and going forward, this is an area where Memphis really needs to grow.
Over time and as they gain experiences like that loss to Golden State, the Grizzlies will begin to learn and expand their overall mental approach to the game, but for now their inability to move on and not letting a team like the Warriors bother them is a little worrying.
You can talk all day long, but if you can’t keep up with the times and step in when it really matters, then you have no right to claim that you’re the best team. On Sunday, the Warriors made that very clear to the Grizzlies.
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