Perhaps even more than the other three series, the first three games of the conference semifinals between the Warriors and the Grizzlies were rich in physical contact and controversy.
There was the flagrant foul of Draymond Green in Game 1, who himself took an elbow in the face in Game 2. Not to mention of course the broken elbow of Gary Payton II and now the collision between Jordan Poole and Ja Morant.
A finding that is not very surprising according to Steve Kerr since the Grizzlies are young and hungry.
“It’s the classic clash between a young team rising on one side, and an old team on the other, trying to keep their ground,” compares the Warriors coach for The Athletic. “I’ve said it before, Memphis has done a tremendous job over the past few years building their team. Taylor Jenkins has done a hell of a job. It’s a great team, very competitive. They want what we have. When you look at the history of the league, that’s how things work. The young team wants to take power and, each time, it becomes physical and surly. »
The Warriors were also that rising team almost a decade ago. And as for their defense, very, very strong during the golden years (2015-2019) but which was always eclipsed by their flamboyant attack, we often tended to forget that the Californians have the answer when it becomes physical and that it fights .
“They are the most physical team, right? », asks, mischievously, Draymond Green. “Historically, we have always been seen as a soft team, which only shoots, right? I did not invent it. Opposing teams always want to be very physical with us. Since I’ve been here, it’s been like that. This is how. »
The strong winger thus refers to the famous declaration of Charles Barkley, who explained before the first title of Stephen Curry and company that Golden State was a team of outside shooters and that it did not win titles. History has largely proven him wrong, precisely because the Warriors and their shooters have proven that they can defend just as hard, and not back down when it gets very physical.
|Gary Payton II||71||17.6||61.6||35.8||60.3||1.0||2.5||3.5||0.9||0.6||1.4||0.3||1.8||7.1|
|Juan Toscano Anderson||73||13.6||48.9||32.2||57.1||0.4||2.0||2.4||1.7||0.9||0.7||0.2||1.6||4.1|