FIRST-HALF RECAP: After Andris Biedrins picked up his third foul with 6:33 left in the first quarter, the Warriors fell apart a little bit. Without their defensive anchor, Golden State gave up a quick 13-0 run by the Grizzlies, part of a larger 20-2 run that gave Memphis a big early lead. On defense, the Warriors were allowing offensive rebounds to Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, and were torched by Rudy Gay, who shot very well in the first quarter. On offense, Golden State was getting open looks, but couldn’t hit their shots. The offense was a little stagnant, as the Warriors settled for jumpers time after time. It wasn’t working. The Warriors trailed 29-19 at the end of one quarter.
But, things changed in the second quarter. The Warriors started to get their hands in the passing lanes (they forced 10 turnovers in the first half), and got some scores in transition. Most importantly, the Warriors stopped settling for the jumper and started attacking the basket. Against this Grizzlies team, it’s working wonderfully. The Warriors outscored Memphis 38-27 in the second quarter and have a 1-point lead heading to the third quarter.
I was really impressed with Corey Maggette in the second quarter. He leads all scorers with 17 points, and has been very active driving to the basket and operating inside the paint. Once he started doing that, his jumper started falling, too. After seeing Maggette miss jumper after jumper in the first two games, it was nice to see him stick to his strength, which is attacking the basket.
Monta Ellis has been very impressive as well, even though he hasn’t hit his shots (though he improved in the second quarter). He is playing under control, playing good defense and is creating a little bit for his teammates (6 assists in the first half).
The Warriors also took care of the ball very well in the first half (only four turnovers).
The Warriors need to rebound better. They are being outrebounded 31-17 and have allowed 11 offensive rebounds. By my count, the Grizzlies have converted those offensive rebounds into 12 second-chance points.