Grizzlies-Warriors: What to watch for

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Grizzlies-Warriors: What to watch for

PROGRAMMING ALERT: Warriors Pregame Live begins at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, with the tipoff at 7:30 p.m., followed by Warriors Postgame Live.

The Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies seem to be heading inopposite directions. Golden State has lost two in a row and four of their pastsix. Meanwhile, Memphis has won six in a row, all without the injured ZachRandolph.

For the Warriors, this is Game No. 2 of a six-gamehomestand, and they are in the midst of a stretch having 10 home games in theirnext 12. In other words, if the Warriors are going to make something happen,now would seem to be the time for that happen.Here are some things to watch for:Interior defense: Since Kwame Brown wentdown with a torn right chest muscle, the Warriors interior defense has beeninconsistent. On some nights they struggle to defend bigger frontlines and onothers they get outrebounded. Even without Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies have alot of size up front with Marc Gasol, Marreese Speights and DanteCunningham.The Warriors need to find a way to neutralize Memphis upfront.Gay-Wright matchup: There are signs thatDorell Wright is beginning to come out of his early season funk. Hes beginningto make more 3-pointers, but the next step is on the defensive end, whereWright needs to make more of an impact.RELATED: Dorell Wright game logs
The key for Wright is to keep Gay on the perimeter and tryto prevent him from getting easy buckets. If Gay has a game in which hes avolume shooter say 20 or more shots at under 50 percent that will bode wellfor Golden State.Ellis efficiency: Monta Ellis is shooting41.6 percent from the field, well below his career 46.7 career field goalshooting percentage. Against the Grizzlies, Ellis will likely find himselfopposite one of the leagues best perimeter defenders in Tony Allen. And thatsalways a challenge.Currys ankle: Stephen Curry returned tothe lineup on Friday after missing eight consecutive games with a sprainedright ankle. He seemed to gain more confidence in the ankle as that game wentalong.After a couple of off days, lets see if Curry can build onhis Friday return and regain his explosiveness and shooting touch.

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

The Trilogy has arrived.

The Warriors. The Cavaliers. Facing each other in the NBA Finals for the third consecutive postseason. The series begins June 1 with Game 1 at Oracle Arena.

With a 135-102 victory over the Celtics Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavs advance to face a Warriors team riding the wave created by being the first club in NBA history to start the postseason with 12 straight wins.

With the teams splitting the first two Finals, the Warriors winning in 2015 and the Cavs prevailing last June, this one is to break the tie.

In the meantime, both teams have done some significant retooling.

The Warriors last summer added four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, along with veterans JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West.

Though LeBron James remains the hub of the Cavs, the team made several in-season changes, most notably adding veterans Kyle Korver and Deron Williams.

The Warriors came into the playoffs having earned the No. 1 overall seed by virtue of their NBA-best 67-15 record. They’re 27-1 since March 11, having ended the regular season by winning 15 of their last 16 games before taking out Portland, Utah and San Antonio in four games each to reach The Finals.

The Cavaliers (51-31) held the top seed in the East for most of the season before staggering over the final six weeks, going 9-12 over their final 21 games, including four consecutive losses to end the season.

Cleveland seems to have recovered from its late-season slump, sweeping Indiana and Toronto in the first two rounds before ousting the Celtics in five.

The Warriors and Cavs split two games in the regular season, each team winning on its home floor. Cleveland took a 109-108 decision on Christmas Day, while the Warriors came back for a 126-91 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Oakland.

The NBA Finals schedule can be seen below. 

Game 1 – Thu  June  1  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 2 – Sun  June  4  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM  

Game 3 – Wed  June  7  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 4 – Fri  June  9  Golden State at Cleveland             6:00PM  

Game 5 * Mon  June 12  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 6 * Thu  June 15  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 7 * Sun  June 18  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM    

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr is no closer to resuming full-time duties than he was a week ago, or even a month ago.

Out since April 23, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence to address chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Kerr has been a constant presence the past two weeks but not on the bench during games.

“He’s doing everything but coaching, but at this point, he’s not able to coach,” general manager Bob Myers said Thursday after practice. “I wish could say that he was. I’m sure he wishes he could as well. But that’s where we are.

“If something changes and he feels better, I’ll sit here or, better -- he would sit here -- and tell you. But right now, I can’t say that he’s going to be coaching.”

Though Kerr did not address media Thursday, he indicated earlier this week that he would be comfortable going into the NBA Finals, which begin June 1, with acting head coach Mike Brown at the helm.

“We’re 12-0,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I feel great about where the team is. I know we can play better. I think the challenge we’re about to face, one way or the other, is going to take us to another level.”

The Warriors under Kerr finished the regular season with a league-best 67-15 mark, earning the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs. Kerr coached Games 1 and 2 of the first round against Portland before surrendering head coaching duties to Brown.

The Warriors are 10-0 since Brown took over, 27-1 over their last 28 games since March 11.

Still, they would like Kerr to regain health and join them in their quest for a second championship in three years.

“It’s hard for me; I’m kind of in this basketball mode,” Myers said. “But he’s a person and he’s not feeling well. And that’s what makes it hard. More than how it reflects on our team is how he’s feeling that makes it very difficult to have to sit here and say that the man that’s hugely responsible for us being in The Finals for three years in a row, in a moment that he should be treasuring, can’t do it.

“It’s painful. And I know it’s painful for him, more than anybody. And I wish and he wishes and I’m sure you guys do, too, that there was something that could get him there. But right now, we’re not at that point.”