Humiliated in Game 3, the Grizzlies showed character tonight in Game 4. Even without Ja Morant hit in the knee, they were the ones who took control of the game behind a defense that kept the Warriors out of rhythm throughout the game.
“We keep them at 101 points. We defended the 3-point line well, we were much better inside, we took the challenge one-on-one, our rotations were solid. described Taylor Jenkins after the meeting. “I’m really impressed with our progress between Games 3 and 4.”
Unfortunately for them, the Grizzlies lost the rigor that had allowed them to limit the Warriors to 20, 18, and 24 points in the first three quarters. Behind a festival of Stephen Curry, Golden State scored 4 of its 9 3-point shots in the last period, 15 of its 20 free throws, and scored 8 points on 3 stray balls from Memphis. It’s part of the pressure a team like the Warriors can put on a defense. It only takes a trifle to restart the machine, and Stephen Curry was the detonator.
Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala channel the group
” He’s got that mindset… He knows he’s the greatest shooter ever and he only needs one shot, whether it’s a layup or a free throw, and when it happens , the valves open explained Klay Thompson. ” It was complicated tonight but at this time of year, all that matters is winning. And we found a way to win, that’s all that matters. »
That resilience has been in the Warriors’ DNA for years. You have to remember the series they played, won or lost, against the Rockets, against the Cavs or against the Raptors.
This team has the bottle. After the meeting, Mike Brown also insisted on the contribution of Draymond Green but also on that of Andre Iguodala. The latter, injured, did not play a game in the series, but his words and his experience are invaluable in keeping the Warriors focused even when they were not playing well.
” Andre and Draymond have experienced the roller coaster of many playoff series, and their presence, their calm, their voice give confidence to players who discover this level, especially without Steve (Kerr) tonight, underlined the new coach of the Kings.
“We rushed on two, three possessions in a row, and that changed the game”
This composure, despite a performance that left much to be desired, was useful at the best time. While the Grizzlies had found their rhythm at the start of the last quarter to take a twelve-point lead thanks in particular to a well-controlled Tyus Jones, the Warriors’ defense found a way to reverse the trend.
” They forced us to take hard shots, they dictated our attack. We rushed on two, three possessions in a row, and that changed the game, confirmed Tyus Jones.
The Warriors changed their defensive strategy in the final five minutes, “switching” on most screens to force Memphis to play one-on-one.
Dillon Brooks, in particular, took the bait, forcing a 3-point shot and losing the ball on a risky penetration. After a week without playing, he finished the game 5 of 19 on shots, including numerous bricks and airballs. He is now 9 of 44 on shots in the series.
The Grizzlies stay in the shoes of the student
” Their defensive pressure got in the way, we rushed and took the shots they wanted us to take. It’s up to me to absorb that pressure, calm my guys down and put our game up whether it’s calling a system or creating something, Tyus Jones blamed himself, yet solid for 45 minutes.
” It’s a smart team, it’s a team of veterans, and they increased their intensity in the last minutes and we couldn’t manage it, he added.
The Grizzlies made several such mistakes throughout the game. In the first half, when the Warriors were 2/20 from 3-point and had lost 11 balls, Memphis could and should have taken off. They ran into an established defense but also lacked composure in their shot selection. They also missed shots that could have kept the Warriors at bay in the final minutes.
In a game that is down to nothing, these kinds of details, these missed opportunities accumulate. If the young Grizzlies had avoided correctional against the Timberwolves in the first round, they discover that against a more experienced opponent, all mistakes are paid for in cash.
” When we arrive in the last minutes, and the match is played at one or two possessions, it does not matter if you are in front or behind in the score concludes Mike Brown. ” When you have Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, and a guy like Draymond Green on the pitch, who would have been the best defender of the year if he hadn’t been injured, you have rock-solid confidence. »
The Warriors replaced the Grizzlies in 2013 against San Antonio, and in 2014 against the Clippers, they learned their lesson. It’s the Grizzlies’ turn to be studious.
Interview in San Francisco.
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