Grizzlies-Warriors: What to watch for

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Grizzlies-Warriors: What to watch for

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Warriors Pregame Live begins at 7:00 on CSN Bay Area, with the opening tip slated for 7:30. Log on and chat with Matt Steinmetz during the first quarter! Also, when the game is over, don't change the channel as Warriors Postgame Live starts immediately following the final buzzer.

The Warriors return home after a five-game road trip and arelooking to build some momentum. But theyll have to do it against the MemphisGrizzlies, a team that has won eight of their past nine games.The Warriors (15-20) knocked off the Washington Wizards inthe final game of the trip on Monday, and now theyll try to erase the memoryof two tough losses earlier in the season to Memphis (22-15).On Jan. 23, the Warriors blew a 20-point lead in the secondhalf and wound up losing to Memphis 91-90. On Feb. 18, Memphis shooting guardTony Allen converted an offensive rebound in the final seconds to help give theGrizzlies a 104-103 win in Memphis.REWIND: Warriors self-destruct in 4th, fall to Grizzlies 91-90
Here are some things to watch for during Wednesday nightsgame:Rebounding: Although the Grizzlies aremissing their All-Star power forward Zach Randolph, they are still a big andphysical frontline with Marc Gasol and Marreese Speights. In the Grizzlies104-103 victory on Feb. 18, Memphis outrebounded the Warriors 45-31, and gaveup multiple second shots in the fourth quarter.REWIND: W's fall in Memphis, despite big nights from Monta, Curry
The Warriors front line of Ekpe Udoh and David Lee have tomake a conscientious effort to rebound, and its also imperative that theteams perimeter players get in there and help out in that area.Limit turnovers: Over the course of theseason, turnovers have periodically hurt the Warriors. There are some games theWarriors treat the ball quite well, and consequently they usually have moresuccess in those games. But too often this season careless turnovers have hurtthe Warriors. The most recent time that occurred was in Sundays loss atToronto when turnovers in the fourth quarter cost them.In the teams first meeting, the Warriors completely melteddown in the fourth period, committing nine turnovers and giving away whatshould have been a victory.Make 3-pointers: There was no betterindication of how important the 3-point shot is to the Warriors than on theirrecent five-game road trip. During the first four games of the trip, theWarriors went just 13-for-71 from beyond the arc (18.3 percent). Notsurprisingly, the won just one of those games a low-scoring, grind-it-out85-82 victory against Atlanta.On the final game of the road trip, the Warriors broke outand made 15-of-23 from 3-point range, and not coincidentally, blew outWashington 120-100.Scrap early: There is a school of thoughtin the NBA that a teams first game back after a lengthy road trip is adifficult one to play because it feels like another road game what with thetravel back to your hometown the previous day.Thats why its important that the Warriors starters comeout with energy early and that the bench then follows through.

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

Kerr clarifies Cousins' lack of NBA All-Star Game minutes

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Wednesday that the limited minutes allotted to former Kings center DeMarcus Cousins in the All-Star Game Sunday was unrelated to a pending trade.

Cousins played only two minutes -- the shortest stint by any All-Star since Connie Hawkins in 1971 -- because that was the big man’s wish.

“I asked every guy before the game started how much they wanted to play,” said Kerr, who coached the Western Conference All-Stars for the second time in three seasons. “He told me he wanted to play two minutes. He was serious. He said he was banged up. It had nothing to do with (a trade).”

After six-plus seasons in Sacramento, Cousins was traded to New Orleans shortly after the All-Star Game, with the official announcement coming Monday.

Kerr initially thought Cousins was requesting to be limited to two minutes per half. When Kerr and assistant coach Mike Brown conveyed that plan, Cousins was quick to clarify.

“He said, ‘No, no: two minutes total,’” Kerr recalled.

When Kerr pointed out that Cousins actually played two minutes, 24 seconds, the newest Pelican flashed a sense of humor.

“I went over? By 24 seconds?” Cousins said. “That should be a fine for you, coach.”

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

Warriors big men Pachulia, West close to return

OAKLAND -- The Warriors reconvened Wednesday and received good news, going through a light scrimmage that for the first time in weeks included centers Zaza Pachulia and David West.

The better news for the Warriors is that both were upgraded to questionable and could return as soon as Thursday night, when they face the Clippers at Oracle Arena.

“I would say there’s a good chance both of them would play tomorrow,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’ll see.”

Pachulia has missed the last eight games after straining his right rotator cuff on Jan. 29 at Portland.

“The pain is gone,” Pachulia told CSNBayArea.com. “I can’t say I’ll be cleared, but there is no more pain.”

Pachulia is expected to reclaim his starting role despite Kerr’s acknowledging that JaVale McGee has been “fantastic” while starting the last eight games.

“I haven’t decided yet,” Kerr said. “I’ve got to make that decision. I want to make sure first that (Pachulia) is healthy. And it depends, too, on what happens with David. Is David healthy? Are they both playing? There’s kind of a domino effect on all of this stuff.

“I would anticipate that, ultimately, Zaza will be back starting. I liked that whole rotation. JaVale has helped us dramatically, and he’ll be playing a role. It’s a center-by-committee situation. But right away, we’ll see how we play it.”

West has missed the last 14 games with a non-displaced fracture in his left thumb, sustained Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City.

West was to undergo an X-ray late Wednesday, after which it was anticipated he would receive a clean slate.

The only players that did not scrimmage are All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. All four were given an extra day off in the wake of their participation in All-Star Weekend in New Orleans.

“Just being in New Orleans for those four days, there’s no rest whatsoever,” Kerr said. “Those are the guys who played the most minutes. The All-Star break is such a great time to recharge.”