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.

Sources: In agony, Kerr had difficult time keeping up with Warriors' Game 3 win

Sources: In agony, Kerr had difficult time keeping up with Warriors' Game 3 win

PORTLAND -- Steve Kerr was in such agony Saturday that he found little comfort even while watching from the team hotel as his Warriors pulled out a playoff victory over Trail Blazers, multiple sources told NBCSportsBayArea.com.

The pain is so intense that Kerr even had difficulty keeping up with the game. Moreover, it may be a while before he’s able to return to full-time coaching duties.

Assistant Mike Brown served as acting head coach in a 119-113 win over Portland in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.

“He’s obviously going through a lot physically,” Stephen Curry said of Kerr after the game, “and that’s first and foremost for him to take care of himself, make sure he’s on the road to recovery and feeling like himself.”

Kerr was in obvious discomfort Friday, when he met with the media for his post-practice news conference. Though he made the flight to Oregon with the team Friday afternoon, he was not able to attend shootaround Saturday morning. It was the second time this season that Kerr missed a shootaround, the first coming March 2 in Chicago.

By Saturday afternoon, the Warriors were announcing he would not coach Game 3.

It was not a great surprise to those who work closely with Kerr.

“He’s suffering,” said one person close to Kerr.

“He hadn’t been feeling well for a couple days, so I knew it would be a possibility,” Brown said before the game.

Kerr continues to cope with debilitating side effects from multiple back surgeries in the summer of 2015. He took a leave of absence last season, missing nearly all of training camp and the first 43 games of the regular season before returning.

Both the symptoms have persisted. Kerr still cannot do many of the things he loves, he acknowledged to NBCSportsBayArea.com, such as play golf. Though his back is somewhat improved, he still experiences severe headaches and neck pain.

The worst part about the discomfort is its consistency. It’s nagging at him every day and night, sometimes more severe than others.

It has gotten worse in recent days, though. It is conceivable, even likely, according to those close to Kerr, that he will miss Game 4 Monday night.

Steph Curry keeps game ball for Steve Kerr after he misses Game 3

Steph Curry keeps game ball for Steve Kerr after he misses Game 3

While head coach Steve Kerr was unable to make Saturday's Game 3 due to an illness, the Warriors went out and took a 3-0 series lead over the Blazers. 

After the game, Steph Curry dedicated the win to Kerr by keeping the game ball for him. 

"Our coach is going through a lot right now physically and he told us this morning this is a situation where we need to rally and go out and win a game for him, but we felt like that," Curry said after the Warriors' 119-113 win. "The way that game had gone on we had to fight and do it for him. 

"The way that he said it was we had to win one for The Gipper, so shout out to coach Kerr." 

Curry led the Warriors with 34 points in Saturday's win.