Programming note: Grizzlies-Warriors coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 7 p.m. Stick around after the final buzzer for Warriors Postgame Live!
The Warriors take on the Memphis Grizzlies in theirregular-season home opener at Oracle Arena on Friday. This is not the bestopponent for Golden State to open up with, however. At least if you look at thepast.Memphis swept the season series -- 4-0 -- last year againstthe Warriors and have won the last six games overall against them. What has given theWarriors the most difficulty in that time has been the size of the Grizzlies,specifically Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Marreese Speights. This year, theWarriors are hoping that dynamic changes in large part because of theacquisition of center Andrew Bogut.Here are some things to watch for during Fridaysgame:Bogut vs. Gasol: Grizzlies center MarcGasol has consistently been the most dominant interior player when these teamshave met in the recent past.And thats one of the reasons the Warriors went out andtraded for Bogut last March -- to neutralize players such as Gasol. No doubt,Bogut will be on a minutes-limit against the Grizzlies, but even if Bogut plays20 to 25 minutes, his presence in the lane should make a difference.RELATED: No back-to-backs for Bogut
It also helps that the Warriors now have a big body off thebench to bring in: rookie Festus Ezeli.Depth advantage: The Warriors toutedtheir improved depth during the preseason, and sure enough it helped them wintheir opener against the Suns in Phoenix on Wednesday.RECAP: Warriors edge Suns in opener
Brandon Rush came up big for the Warriors in the first halfof that game, and Carl Landry hit a couple of big buckets late that helpedGolden State win the game.The Grizzlies, on the other hand, lost their most productiveplayer off the bench from a season ago: O.J. Mayo. In other words, the Warriorsmay be able to do some damage in the second quarter and some of the fourthquarter when the Grizzlies subs are in the game.Bounce-back games: Stephen Curry andDavid Lee are coming off poor shooting performances against the Suns. Currywent 2-for-14 from the field and Lee went 2-for-16. Still, the Warriors knockedoff the Suns 87-85 on the road. Its difficult to imagine those two playersstruggling like that from the field again -- or even close to that -- and beatinga quality team like the Grizzlies.