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?


Warriors by 12.5


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.


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.


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


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.


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.

It's official -- Steph Curry will return vs Hawks, Dennis Schroder awaits him


It's official -- Steph Curry will return vs Hawks, Dennis Schroder awaits him

OAKLAND -- At a time when the Warriors could use a boost, they’ll get Friday night when Stephen Curry rejoins the lineup as they face the Atlanta Hawks.

The Warriors (53-18) have been shorthanded for two weeks, and still they’ll be without three of their four All-Stars. Curry’s return after a six-game absence, however, will send a jolt of energy through the team and the crowd at Oracle Arena.

The Hawks (21-51), in full rebuild mode, have lost 10 of 13 since the All-Star break, including a 105-90 loss to the Kings on Thursday night in Sacramento before the lightest NBA crowd of the season due to protests in the wake of a police shooting.


Warriors by 9


Stephen Curry vs. Dennis Schroder: Under normal circumstances, this is worthy of attention, but it’s particularly intriguing with Curry making his return. Schroder, who rested Thursday night, is a defensive pest, the type of player whose presence lights a fire under opponents. Not that Curry needs it. He’s downright anxious to get back on the court.


Warriors: F Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain) is listed as questionable. F Kevin Durant (R rib cartilage injury), F Draymond Green (pelvic contusion) and G Klay Thompson (R thumb fracture) are listed as out.

Hawks: G Kent Bazemore (R knee bone bruise), F De’Andre Bembry (abdominal strain), G Antonious Cleveland (L ankle surgery rehab), F/C John Collins (L ankle sprain), G Malcolm Delaney (L ankle sprain) and G Jaylen Morris (L ankle sprain) are listed as out.


Warriors: 6-4. Hawks: 2-8.


Sean Wright (crew chief), Kevin Cutler, Rodney Mott


The Warriors prevailed in the first of two meetings this season, 114-109 on March 2 in Atlanta. They swept the two-game series last season and are 6-1 against the Hawks in the Steve Kerr era.


DEFENSIVE INTENSITY: Green’s absence robs the Warriors of their best defender and emotional leader. How do they compensate? That’s going to be tough. Expect Jordan Bell (who will start) and Kevon Looney to handle most of the minutes at PF. They’re capable and willing defenders, but neither has Green’s savvy.

THE GIFTS: Though the Warriors, even without a full roster, are much the better team, those circumstances have guaranteed nothing this season. They have a tendency to keep games close by committing costly turnovers. The Hawks are second in forcing turnovers (15.5 per game) and third in points off turnovers (18.2).

THE GUARDS: Curry’s return gives the Warriors a fourth guard, with three PGs (Quinn Cook, Shaun Livingston, Curry) and SG Nick Young. Because Curry and Quinn Cook are capable of playing off the ball, there will be several variations. Any two can be paired as a duo. The coaching staff gets to satisfy its desire to experiment.

Former agent Christian Dawkins to blame? Jordan Bell knows 'exactly what happened'


Former agent Christian Dawkins to blame? Jordan Bell knows 'exactly what happened'

So here's a story for you:

At 9:25pm on April 16, 2017, The Vertical's Shams Charania sent out the following tweet:

This angered Jordan Bell, who soon thereafter tweeted twice:

So what actually went down? It turns out that former agent Christian Dawkins -- who is a key figure in the FBI's investigation into corruption in college basketball -- may have been responsible.

Bell explained everything to Logan Murdock on the Planet Dubs Podcast.

"I was mad ... I know exactly what happened. One of the agents I met with -- the one who got in trouble. What's his name? Dawkins or whatever. Something like that. When I met with him, he was throwing me shade -- he acted like he didn't know who I was. 

"We had dinner and he's on his phone like not really paying me attention. I'm like, 'Why am I meeting with you?  You're wasting my time.' ... I kid you not, he didn't read over his (research). It had all of the top power forwards, big guys in the draft. And he was like, 'Let's just look at this.'

"And he's looking at it, and he was like, 'Oh! You're Top 3 in everything!' And he started getting excited and I was like, 'I'm cool. I'm done with this meeting.'"

Bell then explained how one of his coaches at Oregon tried to teach Bell a lesson.

The coach wanted Bell to "be a man" and contact all of the agents that he was for sure not going to sign with to let them know.

Bell didn't want to do that because he wanted to announce he was declaring for the draft on his own terms, without any information potentially leaking to the media.

But the Warriors rookie took the coach's advice and texted Dawkins to say he was going in a different direction.

"And I kid you not, like an hour later, I get an (alert) -- I'm upstairs at my coach's house -- 'I hear Jordan Bell declares for (the draft)' and I just started screaming...

"... I feel like I have to go (to the NBA) now ... when that happened, I was like, 'I really want to go back now just to prove him wrong, just to make him lose all credibility."

Bell quickly came to his senses, and at 10am on April 18, 2017, he retweeted the following message:

Interestingly -- the last line of The Vertical's story that broke the news regarding Bell reads:

Bell is projected to be the No. 38 overall pick in The Vertical’s latest mock draft by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

The Warriors paid the Bulls $3.5 million for the rights to Bell at... No. 38 overall.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller