HEAVILY FAVORED WARRIORS STUNNED IN GAME TWO, WILL THEY BOUNCE BACK STRONG SATURDAY?
The Golden State Warriors were favored by many in the handicapping community (particularly quants) to win the title when the 2015 NBA Playoffs began. Then, their chances seemed to get better day by day as other teams suffered injuries or were upset. The most dangerous team from the East...Cleveland...lost Kevin Love to a shoulder injury. The most dangerous team in the West...San Antonio...was eliminated in an epic first round battle to the LA Clippers...as Chris Paul of the Clips was injuring his hamstring! The Road to the Championship in front of the Warriors was losing its speed bumps.
Until Tuesday night!
That's when Golden State looked very mortal in a shocking loss as 10-point favorites to the Memphis Grizzlies. Perhaps it will be a game few remember if the Warriors get back on track and start running roughshod again. But, that loss was a reminder that:
*Golden State has a tendency to get overconfident and complacent
*Golden State turns mortal very quickly when the treys aren't falling
*Golden State gets SLOPPY when they fall behind and try to rush things
*Golden State can be pushed around by physical teams
Maybe we'll only see that once a series (it also happened through the first 3.5 quarter of Game Three in New Orleans before GS rallied) and it won't matter. Or, maybe...as the studio guys on TNT keep insisting...this is the evidence that proves Golden State isn't ready to win a championship quite yet.
Here's a quick review of both games played by the bay...
GAME ONE STATS
Golden State 101, Memphis 86
Shooting Pct: Memphis 45%, Golden State 51%
Three-Pointers: Memphis 3/12, Golden State 13/28
Free Throws: Memphis 17/22, Golden State 10/15
Rebounds: Memphis 37, Golden State 39
Turnovers: Memphis 15, Golden State 15
Vegas Line: Golden State by 10.5, total of 197
Memphis had to battle without Mike Conley...and weren't ever really in the game. Sharp shooting from the Warriors behind the arc...as a mark near 50% is the same as being near 75% on two-pointers. Some pundits were suggesting the whole NBA Playoffs were already over by the fourth quarter of this telecast. The Warriors really do look great when everything is synch. It's when they start to cruise when trouble arises.
GAME TWO STATS
Memphis 97, Golden State 90
Shooting Pct: Memphis 45%, Golden State 42%
Three-Pointers: Memphis 5/15, Golden State 6/26
Free Throws: Memphis 18/20, Golden State 22/28
Rebounds: Memphis 39, Golden State 45
Turnovers: Memphis 13, Golden State 20
Vegas Line: Golden State by 10.5, total of 196.5
Golden State decided to cruise just as a super-motivated Conley returned to play a spectacular game. You got the sense that Memphis wasn't going to be denied...while Golden State didn't believe the Griz could keep it going for four full quarters. Note the sloppiness in the numbers. GS had 20 turnovers...and launched many ill-advised forced (or even one-legged) treys that were virtual turnovers in themselves. Lesson learned by the kid contingent. Now we have to see if Golden State can lift its intensity after realizing the league isn't going to lay down for them.
Saturday's Vegas Line: Golden State by 4, total of 195
The market still sees Golden State as about seven points better on a neutral court. That will make them -4 here and -10 at home. This is why the Warriors are still heavily favored to win the series even though Memphis currently has home court advantage. GS will be favored to win every game barring injuries. It's very tough for seven-game underdogs to "steal" four different victories in this kind of showdown.
JIM HURLEY has some thoughts about whether or not the market is seeing reality right now with the Warriors. That will come into play in at least one of the next two games in this series. You can purchase the final word for Saturday (this game plus Atlanta/Washington and baseball) right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended service, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453 Saturday before the action begins. Be sure to check on combination packages that include baseball, next Saturday's Preakness, and next month's Belmont in horse racing's Triple Crown...
NBA Playoff previews continue tomorrow in the NOTEBOOK...
Sunday: Houston at LA Clippers Game Four Preview
Monday: Atlanta at Washington Game Four Preview
Tuesday: Most pivotal Game Five of Chicago/Cleveland and LAC/Houston
Wednesday: Most pivotal Game Five of Washington/Atlanta and Memphis/GS
The league has scheduled nightly doubleheaders through the second round. We'll do our best to stay on top of all four matchups as things progress. We already know there won't be any four game sweeps! Looks like a great week of basketball ahead...leading into the Preakness.
Golden State hopes to re-establish their championship bona fides Saturday in Memphis. JIM HURLEY did that more than 25 years ago...and it still at peak performance! You know you're going to GET THE MONEY with JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK!
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