NBA Gameday: Klay questionable against Grizzlies

NBA Gameday: Klay questionable against Grizzlies

Programming note: Warriors-Grizzlies coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND -- The Warriors will be seeking their 10th consecutive home victory Friday night, when they face the Memphis Grizzlies at Oracle Arena.

It’s a contrast of styles, as the Warriors (31-5) play at the third-fastest pace in the NBA, while the Grizzlies (22-16) operate at the third-slowest pace. It worked last month, as Memphis held the Warriors to a season-low 89 points.

Perhaps the only way Memphis, which has lost four of its last five road games, can keep the game close is by slowing the action to a crawl.

Would the veteran Warriors, who may be without Klay Thompson, allow themselves to fall victim to such a trap?

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 12.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Stephen Curry vs. Mike Conley. Curry is the back-to-back MVP. Conley is the terrific point guard who never has been an All-Star but owns the league’s biggest contract (five years, $153 million). Each man accepts his role as the catalyst. A big night from Conley practically is a must for the Grizzlies to have a chance at victory.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Klay Thompson (illness) is listed as questionable.

Grizzlies: F JaMychal Green (facial fracture) participated in shootaround and is a game-time decision. F Brandan Wright (L ankle surgery recovery) and C Deyonta Davis (L foot plantar fascia tear) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 9-1. Grizzlies: 4-6.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors had won six in a row before Memphis snapped the streak by taking the previous meeting this season, 110-89, on Dec. 10 at FedEx Forum. The Warriors have won the last four games in Oakland and eight of the last 10 overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

1) Klay vs. The Grindfather: Grizzlies 2-guard Tony Allen, AKA The Grindfather, is a great on-ball defender, and he takes particular pride in his work against Klay Thompson. Thompson is averaging 10.0 points (on 13-of-34 shooting) in his last three confrontations with Allen. After managing only 14 points in a win over Portland on Wednesday, Klay will be looking to score. If Thompson is able to play, this could get interesting.

2) The Big Men: On paper, this is a mismatch. Memphis center Marc Gasol may be the most skilled center in the NBA. Warriors center Zaza Pachulia is a role player. But . . . he leads all centers in fan voting (it’s early) for the upcoming All-Star Game. Seriously. Pachulia’s task is to bring physicality without fouling.

3) Bring the D: The Grizzlies, quite simply, do not shoot well. They’re dead last in field-goal percentage (42.3 percent) and 28th in points per game. It reasonably solid defensive effort should be enough to spoil any chance for an upset.

Rockets GM: Chris Paul trade 'gives us a real shot' vs NBA juggernauts

Rockets GM: Chris Paul trade 'gives us a real shot' vs NBA juggernauts

The NBA took a massive power shift Wednesday with the Clippers trading point guard Chris Paul to the Rockets for seven players, a 2018 first-round pick (protected Nos. 1-3) and $661,000. 

Houston GM Daryl Morey is going all in on a mission to compete with the Warriors and he believes the Rockets are now there with the pairing of Paul and MVP runner-up James Harden. 

"You know, it's a guards-based league. It's a weapons race in the NBA and you're either in the weapons race or on the sidelines," Morey said at the team's press conference, as captured by Mark Berman of Houston's FOX 26. "With James Harden in his prime and Chris Paul in his prime, this gives us a real shot to chase the juggernaut teams in this league." 

Paul, who turned 32 in May, is a nine-time All-Star. He spent his last six seasons with the Clippers and averaged 18.1 points, 9.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game during the 2016-17 season in 61 games played. 

This past season, Harden became a primary point guard for the first time under Mike D'Antoni's fast-paced offense and the bearded lefty excelled in his new position. Harden led the NBA with 11.2 assists per game while putting up 29.1 points per game. 

Houston received guards Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams, forwards Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell, plus the non-guaranteed deals of DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard and Kyle Wiltjer from Los Angeles. 

The Rockets went 55-27 last season, four games ahead of the Clippers, but were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs to the Spurs. 

GM Bob Myers reiterates Warriors' stance on signing Steph Curry long term

GM Bob Myers reiterates Warriors' stance on signing Steph Curry long term

DANVILLE -- Everything the Warriors have said and done, as well as everything Stephen Curry has said, indicates there is no chance of a divorce, even though Curry becomes an unrestricted free agent at 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning.

Curry has pointed out numerous times that he plans to sign with the Warriors, implying that it would be pointless for other teams to pursue him on the open market.

And on Wednesday afternoon, Warriors president and general manager Bob Myers reiterated the team’s stance regarding the two-time MVP by expressing Curry would be a top priority.

“He’s got to be,” Myers said at Monte Vista High School, where he and Warriors forward Draymond Green was subjects of a news conference/pep rally in the wake of Myers being named Executive of the Year and Green being named Defensive Player of the Year.

Myers was careful not to slight other players the Warriors expect to re-sign, such as Kevin Durant, and those the team hopes to retain, notably Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston.

“Actually, we’ve got a lot of priorities,” Myers said. “But, certainly, touching all of them and making sure we do our job and make sure they know we want them is important,” Myers said. “But he knows how we feel. I think he’s happy. But he’s a huge priority.”

The Warriors are allowed to pay Curry about $200 million over the next five seasons, and CEO Joe Lacob has said he’s ready to do whatever it takes.