Dec 20, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) returns to defense after scoring a three point basket against the Sacramento Kings during the fourth quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
- The Memphis Grizzlies host the Golden State Warriors in a Western Conference showdown at 8 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 11, 2022
- Memphis is looking to win its 10th consecutive game, while Golden State is looking to improve to 2-0 since Klay Thompson’s return
- Continue reading for odds, picks and a prediction for this game
The Golden State Warriors travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies tomorrow night, a game in which the Warriors are favored by one point. Memphis is in the midst of a nine-game winning streak, and this is despite losing key players to injury, as well as to health and safety protocols.
The Warriors, meanwhile, just got Klay Thompson back after a 941-day absence, and are looking to continue their dominance over the Western Conference.
Warriors vs Grizzlies Odds
|Golden State Warriors||-115||-1 (-105)||Over 218.5 (-110)|
|Memphis Grizzlies||-105||+1 (-115)||Under 218.5 (-110)|
Odds as of January 10 via DraftKings.
Defense is key
Both the Warriors and Grizzlies are excellent defensive teams. The Warriors lead the league in team defense, only allowing 100.9 points per game. Memphis, meanwhile, is directly in the middle of the pack, coming in at 15th and allowing 107.9 PPG.
However, Memphis excels in other areas at the defensive end. The Grizzlies lead the league in both blocks per game (6.2) and steals per game (10.2).
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 10, 2022
Three is king
The Grizzlies rank right in the middle at 15th in terms of opponent shooting percentage, allowing opponents to make 45.1% of their shots. However, when taking a closer look, a trend emerges that puts Golden State at a clear advantage in this game. Memphis ranks 8th in opponent two point shooting percentage, at 51.8%. However, when it comes to defending opponents behind the three point line, the Grizzlies are allowing their opponents to convert these looks at a 36.4% clip. That ranks 26th in the NBA. The Warriors, meanwhile, happen to have two of the greatest three point shooters of all time on their roster.
That mismatch may very well prove to be the deciding factor in this game.
This game will be Klay Thompson’s second game back following a torn ACL that was sustained during the 2019 NBA Finals. Thompson scored 17 points on 3-8 shooting from deep in a Warriors victory.
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 10, 2022
The Warriors can look forward to not only an on-court boost courtesy of Thompson’s return, but an emotional boost as well.
Slowing down Morant
The biggest challenge for the Warriors will be slowing down Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant. The Grizzlies superstar is averaging 24.7 points, 6.7 assists and 5.8 rebounds. The biggest problem for Golden State is that Morant plays point guard, and while Steph Curry has certainly improved as a defender and he competes at all times, nobody is mistaking him for a lockdown defensive guard.
Prior to his injuries, Thompson was an elite perimeter defender, but we still don’t really know what we’re getting from him given that he has only played one game at the NBA level since 2019, and is still working his way back from a devastating injury.
Keys to the game
The reunion of the Splash Brothers combined with the struggles the Grizzlies have had preventing opponents from converting looks from long range means that I am very bullish on the Warriors in this matchup. Despite Morant’s excellence, I’m going to have a hard time betting against Curry and company, especially with Thompson back in the fold.
Either of those two can get unconsciously hot at any time and put a game out of reach before the opponent even knows what happened. Even worse for Memphis, both of them could get hot at the same time and turn the game into a blowout.
“STEPHEN CURRY…THE ALL-TIME THREE-POINT KING IN THE NBA.”
— NBA (@NBA) December 15, 2021
While I don’t think this will happen, as Memphis is too good to get blown out, particularly on their home court, the advantage is still pointing towards the Warriors.
These are two talented teams, and Memphis has certainly been on a hot streak lately, but I think that will end tomorrow night at the hands of the Warriors. The mismatch of the Grizzlies poor three point shooting defense combined with the lethal sharpshooters in the backcourt for the Warriors will prove to be too much for Morant to overcome.
The pick: Warriors moneyline (-115) 2 units
David graduated from Quinnipiac University with his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. A baseball, football and basketball fan, David has covered everything from local sports to Quinnipiac’s D-I teams. David also enjoys tracking his own wager predictions and modifying formulas to handicap games.