Tag: Jeff Green

Stephen Curry

Warriors regain control of Grizzlies series, one game from Western Conference finals


For a brief moment, it was unclear whether Stephen Curry was losing the ball or just toying with his defender.

Another look quickly revealed the MVP’s stutter step and fancy dribbling were intentional:

Stephen Curry erupts in emotion after 3 to end 1st quarter.

A video posted by Spears (@spearsmarcj) on

Curry drilled a 3-pointer to end the first quarter, capping a 16-2 run that erased a 13-point Grizzlies lead, and inspired a raucous home crowd into delirium.

And just like that the Warriors were back in control – of this game (which they won, 98-78, while never trailing in the final three quarters) and this series (which they lead, 3-2).

Golden State can advance to its first conference finals since 1976 by winning Game 6 Friday.

“This is big,” Curry said of the Game 5 win.

Then, Curry – who had 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and six steals – looked ahead: “It’s getting bigger and bigger. And we love it.”

Curry made 6-of-13 3-pointers, Klay Thompson 3-of-4 (including one as part of a four-point play), Harrison Barnes 3-of-5 and Andre Iguodala 3-of-5 – and the Warriors (14-of-30) dominated the Grizzlies (4-of-15) from beyond the arc.

But no matter what the narrative says, Golden State is not a one-dimensional jump-shooting team.

Take Draymond Green, who missed all five of his 3-point attempts but kept the ball moving with nine assists. Plus, the forward played his usual strong defense – and eventually, so did the Warriors.

With Jeff Green starting for an injured Tony Allen, the Grizzlies look free by the ability to play 5-on-5 offensively as they raced to a 23-10 lead. In Game 4, Golden State mostly ignored the poor-shooting Allen and used his nominal defender, Andrew Bogut, to roam the paint.

But the Warriors, the NBA’s best defense during the regular season, adjusted to their new challenge and clamped down. They also started turning their stops into transition. Golden State outscored Memphis on fastbreaks, 31-6.

Despite their best efforts to slow the pace, the Grizzlies still couldn’t keep up.

It’s hard to see how will.

Tony Allen out for Grizzlies-Warriors Game 5 tonight

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Warriors coach Steve Kerr effectively took Tony Allen out of Game 4 with a daring adjustment.

Now, a hamstring injury is taking Allen out of tonight’s Game 5.

Grizzlies sideline reporter Rob Fisher:

Allen came up big in Memphis’ Game 2 and Game 3 wins, but the Warriors effectively neutralized him in Game 4.

Golden State trusted Harrison Barnes to defend Zach Randolph, and “guarded” Allen with center Andrew Bogut. Bogut mostly sagged off Allen to patrol the paint, and Allen shot just 2-for-9, including 0-for-3 on 3-pointers, in 16 minutes.

Without Allen on the court to cover them, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson had an easier time operating. Now, the Splash Brothers should get that advantage over a full game.

Larger roles for Jeff Green and Vince Carter could boost the Grizzlies’ offense, but I doubt it outweighs the defensive drop-off. Memphis probably can’t keep up with the Warriors if the game becomes a shootout.

Allen contributes greatly to the Grizzlies’ toughness and defense, traits key to upsetting the Warriors. Though Memphis still has Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, it’ll be an even steeper up-hill battle tonight.

PBT First-Round Playoff Previews: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

LaMarcus Aldridge, Zach Randolph
Blazers: 51-31 (fourth place in Western Conference)
Grizzlies: 55-27 (fifth place in Western Conference)
Blazers: It would be easier to list who’s healthy. LaMarcus Aldridge’s thumb is probably fine but he missed two of the last three games with a left foot sprain. Nicolas Batum has a bruised knee and missed the season finale. C.J. McCollum has a left ankle sprain. Arron Afflalo will miss at least the first game with a right shoulder strain. And that’s before you get to the season-ending injuries to Dorell Wright and Wesley Matthews.
Grizzlies: Marc Gasol (ankle) and Mike Conley (foot) are banged up. Courtney Lee is playing through a torn hand ligament. All should be available for the series opener but they’re worth keeping an eye on.
Blazers: 105.5 points scored per 100 possessions (8th in NBA); 101.4 points allowed per 100 possessions (10th in NBA).
Grizzlies: 103.1 points scored per 100 possessions (13th in NBA); 99.9 points allowed per 100 possessions (4th in NBA).


1) Will the Blazers find wing production? The loss of Matthews effectively killed Portland’s hopes of contending. The injuries to Wright and Afflalo don’t help. Beyond Batum and McCollum (who are dealing with minor injuries of their own), the Blazers are counting on a lot of production from the likes of Allen Crabbe, Alonzo Gee and Tim Frazier, which isn’t ideal to say the least. That’s all the more pressure on Damian Lillard to have another heroic series like last year’s first-round matchup with Houston.

2) Can the Grizzlies get anything on the perimeter? We say this every year, and you’d think they would have done something about it by now, but there’s no reliable outside shooting anywhere on Memphis’ roster. Jeff Green has shot 36 percent from three since being traded to the Grizzlies, and their two best three-point threats, Conley and Lee, are playing through injuries. The Grizzlies will have to do all of their damage in the paint, which, luckily for them, they’re perfectly equipped to do.

3) How far can Aldridge and Lillard carry the Blazers? With Matthews gone, the Blazers’ two superstars are going to have more defensive attention on them than ever. Memphis can put Tony Allen on Lillard and Zach Randolph on Aldridge. With Aldridge’s thumb injury, a matchup with Randolph can’t be something he’s looking forward to, but unless one of the unknown role players steps up, it’s going to be a two-man job.


This is going to be a hard-fought series with terrific home crowds in both cities. But between Memphis’ home-court advantage and the Blazers’ litany of injuries, I have to think the Grizzlies will prevail. I’m picking Grizzlies in 6 but I don’t feel great about it.

Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger says Mike Conley and Tony Allen still too injured for playoff action

Philadelphia 76ers v Memphis Grizzlies

The Western Conference playoffs might not be the gauntlet we expected.

Sure, it’s still a very strong field, but it won’t be filled with eight dominant teams.

The Trail Blazers are stumbling with Wesley Matthews and maybe Dorell Wright out for the season and Arron Afflalo also sidelined. The Mavericks haven’t clicked with Rajon Rondo. The Thunder – if they even make it – aren’t a historically dangerous No. 8 seed without Kevin Durant (not to mention Serge Ibaka’s own injury troubles). The Pelicans would be a good, though hardly vaunted, No. 8 seed.

And the Grizzlies’ starters haven’t thrived with Jeff Green. Another problem in Memphis: Injuries to Mike Conley and Tony Allen.

Ronald Tilley of The Commercial Appeal:

If Conley (foot) and Allen (hamstring) can’t play or even are significantly limited, it’s very difficult to see the Grizzlies winning a series.

Conley is a near-All-Star who steadies them on both ends, and Allen is a defensive force. No combination of Courtney Lee, Beno Udrih, Nick Calathes and Vince Carter can match those two.

Memphis, after playing the Pacers tonight, will begin postseason play Saturday or Sunday. Is that enough time for Conley and Allen to recover? It’s a huge question for the Grizzlies’ playoff chances.

PBT Awards: Executive of the Year

David Griffin

Though none of us have a ballot for the NBA’s official awards, we’ll be presenting our choices and making our cases this week for each major honor.

Kurt Helin

1. David Griffin, Cleveland Cavaliers

2. Bob Myers, Golden State Warriors

3. Mike Budenholzer (Danny Ferry), Atlanta Hawks

It’s not for getting LeBron James last summer; LeBron decided that. It’s not for the Kevin Love/Andrew Wiggins trade; LeBron pushed to make that happen, too. No, it was for the smart mid-season change of
course to get Timofey Mozgov and J.R. Smith in while sending Dion Waiters out. That and not panicking with David Blatt.

Officially the Hawks submitted Budenholzer — the acting GM — for this award, but Ferry deserves credit here, too. Even Budenholzer recently said it was Ferry, currently suspended, who constructed most of the East’s top team.

Brett Pollakoff

1. David Griffin, Cleveland Cavaliers

2. Mike Budenholzer (Danny Ferry), Atlanta Hawks

3. Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics

While Griffin may not have had much to do with the Cavaliers landing LeBron James or Kevin Love, bringing in Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith (while jettisoning Dion Waiters at the same time) makes him worthy of the honor. It was tempting to consider the Hawks for the top spot, but Dan Feldman laid out a pretty solid case of why it wouldn’t be appropriate, no matter what moves may have been made by those in Atlanta’s front office.

Sean Highkin

1. David Griffin, Cleveland Cavaliers

2. Danny Ferry, Atlanta Hawks

3. Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics

Yes, your job is a lot easier when you’re gifted LeBron James and Kevin Love in the offseason. But Griffin deserves a lot of credit for the Iman Shumpert/J.R. Smith/Timofey Mozgov trades in January that filled every need the Cavs had and were the catalyst for their transformation into the team to beat in the East.

I realize that Ferry wasn’t officially on the ballot, and that was just about the only thing the Hawks could do given the circumstances around his leave of absence. But Ferry’s done a phenomenal job since taking over the Hawks, and this was the best season in franchise history.

Ainge did a good job collecting assets, picking up a potential long-term piece in Isaiah Thomas, and getting decent value for Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green.

Dan Feldman

1. David Griffin, Cleveland Cavaliers

2. Bob Myers, Golden State Warriors

3. Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics

Of course, LeBron James is primarily responsible for transforming the Cavaliers, and hometown pride guided his decision. But he was not leaving the Heat for Cleveland under just any circumstances. Credit Griffin for making the Cavaliers appealing enough and creating the necessary cap space to lure LeBron. From there, Griffin did right to cash in assets to maximize Cleveland’s chances of winning now. Timofey Mozgov, Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith have rounded out the roster, and getting a first rounder for Dion Waiters was impressive. The verdict is still out on the Kevin Love-Andrew Wiggins trade, but Griffin had the right idea.

On that same front, Myers gets most credit for the trade he didn’t make – Klay Thompson for Kevin Love. Myers did most of his heavy-lifting with the roster in previous years, but keeping the group together was a decision, just like breaking it up would have been a decision. This year, the Warriors hired Steve Kerr and surrounded him with excellent assistant coaches – building a collaborative culture that really works. Myers is the front-office face of it.

Ainge successfully tore down the Celtics, probably getting the best haul of draft picks as possible in the process. Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green and Brandan Wright (who was acquired for Rondo) were the prominent outgoing players this year, but Ainge even got a pick for Austin Rivers. Ainge also wisely reversed course somewhat when Boston stayed in the playoff hunt and Isaiah Thomas became available for good value. Best of all, Ainge has created an environment where Brad Stevens has the resources and support to successfully make the college-to-NBA jump.

Gar Forman (signing Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic), Daryl Morey (plenty of mid-level roster tinkering after striking out on star free agents) and John Hammond (acquiring a first-round pick for taking quality contributor Jared Dudley, getting along well enough with Jason Kidd) also drew consideration.