Good tidings we bring, to you and your friends! Good tidings for Christmas, and a Happy New Year! We also bring difficult tidings for those in Dub Nation who circled this game on the calendar, a Christmas Day battle between the defending champion Golden State Warriors and the ornery youth of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Stephen Curry will not be playing, I repeat, Curry will not be on the court for what will be one of the most heated contests of the regular season.
December 25th, 2022 | 5:00 PT
Watch: ABC | Listen: 95.7 The Game
Andrew Wiggins remains out and Draymond Green is questionable with right foot soreness on Warriors’ official injury report vs Grizzlies on Christmas. Donte DiVincenzo will return.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 24, 2022
It was these same Grizz who knocked a Klay Thompson-less Warriors out of the play-in tournament during James Wiseman’s rookie year.
Last season the Grizzlies took the regular season series 3-1 in emphatic fashion. And it was just last postseason where the Dubs outlasted the Grizz and eliminated them out of the playoffs after star guard Ja Morant missed part of the series with a leg injury.
The Warriors are the golden standard; the Grizzlies are the potential leaders of the new school. But the funny thing about potential is that it doesn’t automatically manifest championships. Just ask the Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook era Oklahoma City Thunder, or James Harden’s Houston Rockets, or any team Chris Paul has ever been on.
Golden State has been back and forth to the NBA Finals so many times over the last decade, sometimes we may take for granted just how dominant the Golden Empire is. They won without megaweapon Kevin Durant, then they won with him, then they effectively swapped KD for allegedly terrible hooper Andrew Wiggins and won a championship again.
This is an iconic franchise that has ruled the league with an iron fist; just go ask any Cleveland Cavaliers or Boston Celtics fan about those dudes from the Bay. But all things eventually come to an end, and even a team as highly decorated as GSW can fall victim to age and circumstance.
Currently they have been bedeviled by terrible showings in road games and mounting depth chart issues. This game is a tough test for the Curry-less team; even a prime Golden State squad would have to work hard to overcome a team as physical and defensively disciplined as these Grizzlies.
Since Jaren Jackson Jr.’s return to the lineup, the Grizzlies are first in defense (106.5 per 100), first in halfcourt defense (90.5 per 100), first in at-rim FG% (59.3%, Nets a distant second at 61.8%), first in FG% on shots 4-14 feet (36.1%), first in mid-range FG% (37.7%).
— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) December 24, 2022
Memphis is currently tied for first place in the Western Conference with the Denver Nuggets at the time of this writing, with a quality record of 20-11. They are 7-9 on the road however, which probably surprises people who think the Warriors are the only good team who struggles on the away from home.
Then again, the Warriors are blowing games on the road at such a depressing pace that perhaps they are in their own row of the struggle bus. Their overall record is 15-18 and their road record is 3-16. That’s a great number if you’re Stone Cold Steve Austin, but that’s a terrible number if you’re the defending champions trying to create good habits.
Draymond Green says the Warriors’ road struggles are a “mental” issue.
“Right now I think we’re very fragile,” he said.
— C.J. Holmes (@CjHolmes22) December 23, 2022
Thankfully they’ll be at home where they’ve played better this season. Even still, it’s gonna be hella hard to beat Memphis without the greatest point guard in the game available to suit up and the younger players figuring out their way.
Warriors got all their draft picks — Wiseman, Kuminga, Moody, Baldwin, Rollins — on the court for garbage time. The second timeline on display
— Marcus Thompson II (@ThompsonScribe) December 21, 2022
Malika Andrews: “Who do you look at around the league as you’re studying and say, ‘We’re gonna have to run through them?'”
Ja Morant: “Celtics”
Malik Andrews: “No one in the West.”
Ja Morant: “Nah. I’m fine in the West.”
(h/t @_Talkin_NBA )
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) December 21, 2022
What a stage to have this game, eh? There was a stretch from 1985 to 2009 where the Warriors didn’t even play on Christmas Day. Since 2010 they’ve played in 11 of these prestigious nationally televised games, going 6-5 in those contests. They’ll have their hands full with Memphis in this one, but they are in Chase Center after all, home of champions. The home crowd might just witness some holiday magic.
Who ya got, Warriors or Grizzlies?
Warriors, they play great at home
No Curry? MEMPHIS IS GOING TO DOMINATE
48 votes total
The Warriors will tip off against the Grizzlies at 5:00 p.m. PT. All nationally televised NBA games can be watched on Sling TV.