Grizzlies-Warriors Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 01, 2012
The Golden State Warriors seem to be buying into a different approach - similar to the one that worked for the Memphis Grizzlies last season. Unlike Memphis, Golden State used a strong defensive effort to win its season opener and will try to continue that trend Friday night to avoid a seventh consecutive loss to the Grizzlies. While the Warriors look to open 2-0 for just the second time since 1994, Memphis hopes not to repeat last year's 0-2 start. The Grizzlies, though, went on to post the best winning percentage in franchise history (41-25) while Golden State finished with the Western Conference's third-worst record (23-43). The Warriors allowed more than 100 points per game for the sixth straight season, but now they're placing more of a focus on the defensive end under second-year coach Mark Jackson. Golden State hasn't ranked better than 12th among 15 West teams in scoring defense since 2003-04. The team was 28th in the NBA in points allowed (101.2) a year ago. A season-opening 87-85 victory at Phoenix on Wednesday marked the Warriors' third win since 2006 in which it scored less than 90 points. They forced 18 turnovers while holding the Suns to 40.0 percent from the field - 4 of 21 from 3-point range - and 18 points in the fourth quarter. "Since we've been in training camp, coach Jackson and his staff have put an emphasis on defense and getting stops and that's what we try to do," said Carl Landry, who scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth. Memphis didn't do as well defensively Wednesday, letting the Los Angeles Clippers score 28 in the fourth and shoot 51.4 percent overall in a 101-92 defeat. The Grizzlies, though, did have 14 steals and force 22 turnovers after leading the NBA in both categories last season with averages of 9.6 and 17.1, respectively. They also allowed a conference-low 93.0 points per game. Their NBA-record streak of opening-game losses reached 12, but Memphis has a good chance to bounce back Friday after sweeping all four meetings with the Warriors last season. The Grizzlies have shot 50.1 percent from the field during their six-game win streak in the series. They weren't nearly as efficient offensively Wednesday, committing 18 turnovers and shooting 38.4 percent - 2 for 14 from 3-point range. "Our turnovers and our inability to make layups in the first half really limited us because when you get the ball inside you have to be able to finish and we couldn't do that," coach Lionel Hollins said. While Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol had solid games with 25 and 20 points, respectively, Zach Randolph added 15 with 16 rebounds. He missed more than 2 1-2 months last season after tearing the MCL in his right knee. "Our team just has to get better," Randolph said. "We will put this one behind us and get ready for Golden State." The Warriors received a boost Wednesday with the return of center Andrew Bogut, who had eight points and six rebounds in 18 1/2 minutes in his first game since breaking his left ankle Jan. 25. "It's been a long time coming for me; it's been nine months since I've played basketball competitively," Bogut said. "I felt great, body felt great." Teammate Stephen Curry wasn't nearly as pleased with his opener, going 2 of 14 from the field on the day he signed a four-year, $44 million extension. Curry, though, averaged 23.0 points in three meetings with Memphis last season. Gay has averaged 27.6 points over his last five games in the Bay Area.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Chad Johnson says Roger Goodell consulted him on touchdown celebration rule change

Kevin Durant is not to blame for the NBA’s lack of parity, and he knows it

Khloe Kardashian called out Cavs fan who mentioned ‘curse’

Warriors’ Mike Brown: Steve Kerr may be back for the Finals

Dodgers transfer Andrew Toles and Scott Kazmir to the 60-day disabled list

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Looking back at 40 years of women racing in the Indianapolis 500

U.S. national soccer teams to wear LGBT-themed jerseys to celebrate pride month

Mike Zimmer: Teddy Bridgewater still has ‘long ways to go’

Turkey: Kanter a member of terrorist group, issues warrant

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Report: Clippers concerned about Chris Paul leaving to sign with Spurs

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker