The red hot Golden State Warriors continue their road to the NBA finals against a Memphis Grizzlies team fresh off eliminating the Portland Trail Blazers 4-1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Warriors own the regular season matchup 2-1 and will enjoy homecourt advantage throughout the Western conference playoffs, but will the Grizzlies spoil the hopes of 2015 MVP Stephen Curry and his supporting cast? Will Mike Conley return in time to push the tempo for the Grizzlies or will he struggle? Will Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph decimate the Warriors interior defense? Team S.U. predicts the outcome.
GM 1: MEM at GSW, May 3, 3:30 PM ET ABC
GM 2: MEM at GSW, May 5, 10:30 PM ET TNT
GM 3: GSW at MEM, May 9, 8:00 PM ET ABC
GM 4: GSW at MEM, May 11, 9:30 PM ET TNT
GM 5: MEM at GSW, May 13 TNT | If Needed
GM 6: GSW at MEM, May 15 ESPN | If Needed
GM 7: MEM at GSW, May 17 | If Needed
NBA Playoffs Round 2 Prediction: Warriors vs. Grizzlies
Keith Rivas (Editor): Memphis looked really good against the Portland Trail Blazers in round one and the Golden State Warriors were exposed a little bit in their bout with the Pelicans. The Grizzlies come into this match up ready for blood, as they were the number two team to Golden State for the majority of this past regular season, only to fall in the standings as the playoffs neared.
Steph Curry, obviously, will be the ultimate x-factor, but if Memphis can continue to play like they did against Portland — more particularly how they were able to stifle Damian Lillard — then it’s going to cause some problems for the best team in basketball.
Prediction: Memphis (4-3)
Sauping R. Arguello (NBA Contributor): The Golden State Warriors are running on all cylinders having just completed a sweep of the New Orleans Hornets. They will be facing a gritty Memphis Grizzlies team who handily took care of a depleted Portland Trail Blazers squad. The Grizzlies face a huge challenge of their own as starting point guard Mike Conley’s status for this series will be up in the air. Conley suffered several facial fractures and had surgery a few days ago after a loose ball collision during Portland’s first round series. Missing a quality defender and a key leader running the offense will greatly effect Memphis’ efficiency versus a highly potent offensive group in the Warriors.
Steph Curry will have his way with the Memphis backups in Nick Calathes and Beno Udrih. I feel Curry will be able to get any shot he wants with the absence of Conley. Klay Thompson may have more difficulty getting his shots as he will be matched up with a lockdown defender in Tony Allen. Jeff Green must step up after having a below average first round showing. Green has to win the battle versus Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala while Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut will face the two headed monster of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
Prediction: I give the slight edge to Memphis in the paint. The Warriors deep bench will be a factor in this series. I’m taking the Warriors in 6 (4-2).
Bobby Bourhis (NBA Contributor): The Golden State Warriors will win the series against the Memphis Grizzlies in 6 games (4-2). Golden State is a superior shooting team and a superior defensive team. Draymond Green will be able to neutralize Zach Randolph, and with Mike Conley’s health in question, the Warriors are the overwhelming favorites to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Steve Turner (NBA Writer): The Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies matchup is going to be an amazing series. The Warriors proved their dominance by sweeping Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. This team has been the best all season and it showed every game against the Pelicans. Memphis isn’t going to be that easy though, as Golden State is in for a challenge when they face them on Sunday. The Grizzlies just eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers in a series where the Blazers only had one win–a great accomplishment for the Grizzlies.
There is one huge problem with Memphis at the moment. Mike Conley was injured in the Portland series and had to undergo surgery on his face. This could be a huge loss for Memphis. If Mike Conley can’t play in series against Golden State, Memphis could be eliminated. Stephen Curry has been showing how ultimate and relentless he can be on the offensive end, and Memphis is going to need Mike Conley to stop him. I believe Conley could do a great job of guarding Steph Curry and keep him from overwhelming the Grizzlies.
Even then though, this Golden State team remains deep. They have weapons both offensively and defensively, and they are nearly unbeatable when they play at the Oracle, their home stadium. I would love to see Memphis overcome this challenge and beat Golden State, but I don’t think it will happen.
Prediction: Memphis is going to put up an amazing fight, but I’m taking the Warriors in 6