Crucial Showdown: Grizzlies Look to Overcome Elimination in Game 5 Against Warriors

Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies: Western Conference Semifinals

The Series So Far

The Memphis Grizzlies currently find themselves trailing the Golden State Warriors 3-1 in the Western Conference semifinals. While their Game 5 is set to take place at their home court in Memphis, the Grizzlies are dealing with the unfortunate absence of their All-Star point guard, Ja Morant, due to a knee injury. The team’s record during the regular season without Morant in the lineup was an impressive 20-5. However, their loss in Game 4 of this series with Morant on the bench has raised concerns about their ability to overcome this setback.

Injury Concerns and Game Expectations

With news of Morant’s bone bruise and potential absence for Game 5, the opening line for the Grizzlies as the home underdog shifted from +3 to +4. There is also a significant chance that Morant will be unable to play for the remainder of the postseason. Referee assignments for Game 5 include Zach Zarba as the crew chief, along with Tony Brothers, Jacyn Goble, and Bill Kennedy.

Game Details

Teams: Golden State Warriors (3-1) at Memphis Grizzlies (1-3)

– Tip-off: 6:30 pm PT
– Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis
– Point Spread: GSW -4
– Total: 218.5 o/u
– Money Line: MEM +150 / GSW -170

Series Outlook

The Golden State Warriors are heavily favored with -5000 odds to secure the series win and advance to the Western Conference finals. On the other hand, the Grizzlies face long odds of +1800 as they attempt to stage a comeback and win three consecutive games to achieve a surprising upset. Looking at the bigger picture, the Warriors are favored at -105 odds to emerge as the champions of the Western Conference and move on to the NBA Finals. The Grizzlies, however, are considered a significant underdog in the Conference, with +5000 odds on DraftKings.

Grizzlies’ Challenge Without Ja Morant

Ja Morant has been a key contributor for the Grizzlies throughout the playoffs, leading the team with an impressive average of 27.1 points, 9.8 assists, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game across nine postseason games. Notably, Morant’s performance against the Warriors has been exceptional, averaging 38.3 points per game and achieving a standout 47-point performance in a Game 2 victory.

In Morant’s absence for Game 5, the Grizzlies will heavily rely on their other starters to compensate for his scoring and leadership. Desmond Bane, with an average of 17.9 points in the postseason and a remarkable 46.7% shooting accuracy from beyond the arc, will play a crucial role. Jaren Jackson, Jr., averaging 15.2 points and 6.9 rebounds, will also be counted on, despite a disappointing 0-for-7 shooting performance in Game 4. Dillon Brooks, who served a one-game suspension in Game 3, struggled in Game 4, scoring only 12 points on 5-for-19 shooting, including 2-for-9 from beyond the arc. However, as he regains his rhythm after the suspension, the Grizzlies hope for improved contributions from him.

In Game 4, Tyus Jones stepped up in Morant’s absence and scored 19 points, far surpassing his postseason average of 8.2 points per game. The performance of bench players such as Brandon Clarke, who averages 12.9 points per game, and Steve Adams, who provided valuable rebounding with 14 boards in Game 4, will also be essential in Game 5.

Warriors’ Determination to Close Out the Series

With a 3-1 series advantage, the Golden State Warriors are just one win away from securing their spot in the Western Conference finals. Their priority is to extinguish any hope the Grizzlies may have, especially with Morant unavailable. Championship teams understand the importance of delivering a decisive blow and closing out series at the earliest opportunity. The experienced Warriors know that relenting now would only provide the Grizzlies with a chance to regroup and potentially turn the tide.

In Game 4, head coach Steve Kerr was absent due to a positive COVID-19 test, but the team avoided any further complications. Assistant coach Mike Brown, who is set to become the head coach of the Sacramento Kings, took charge in Game 4 and led the Warriors to victory. Despite initially falling behind, the team settled into the game and displayed their characteristic resilience. Additionally, the calm and clutch performance of Steph Curry, who leads the team with an average of 29.1 points per game, proved instrumental in securing the win. Curry’s ability to rise above a poor shooting night and hit crucial free throws showcased his unwavering confidence and leadership. Jordan Poole (21.9 ppg) and Klay Thompson (19.4 ppg) have also provided consistent scoring contributions for the Warriors in the postseason, along with Andrew Wiggins (15.2 ppg, 7.1 rebounds), who complements the team’s renowned “Death Lineup.”


The Memphis Grizzlies face an uphill battle as they try to overcome a 3-1 series deficit against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals. The absence of their star player, Ja Morant, due to a knee injury adds to their challenges. However, the Grizzlies have shown resilience throughout the season, and their other key players will need to step up to compensate for Morant’s absence. On the other side, the Warriors understand the importance of not letting the series slip away and aim to close it out in Game 5. Led by their dynamic duo of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors possess the experience and firepower to secure the win and march on to the Western Conference finals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Will Ja Morant return during the postseason?

As of now, the likelihood of Ja Morant returning to the postseason remains uncertain. His knee injury, diagnosed as a bone bruise, may keep him sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs. The Grizzlies will need to make do without him and rely on their other players to fill the void.

2. Who will replace Ja Morant in the starting lineup?

In Ja Morant’s absence, Tyus Jones has been called upon to fill the starting point guard role for the Grizzlies. In Game 4, Jones exhibited his capabilities by scoring 19 points and providing valuable contributions on both ends of the court.

3. Who are the key players to watch for the Grizzlies in Game 5?

With Ja Morant unavailable, the Grizzlies will lean on their other starters, including Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson, Jr., and Dillon Brooks, to carry the scoring load. These players have shown the ability to make significant contributions throughout the season and will be crucial in Game 5.

4. How significant is the absence of head coach Steve Kerr?

Head coach Steve Kerr’s absence due to a positive COVID-19 test is undoubtedly impactful. However, the Warriors have a strong support system in place, with assistant coach Mike Brown stepping in and leading the team to victory in Game 4. The experienced roster and the internal cohesion of the Warriors should help mitigate the absence of Kerr in Game 5.

5. Can the Grizzlies stage a comeback and win the series?

While the odds may be stacked against them, the Memphis Grizzlies have showcased resilience throughout the season. They have proven their ability to perform well even without Ja Morant in the lineup. A potential comeback in the series is not entirely out of the question, but it would require a tremendous effort and contributions from the entire team to overcome the talented and experienced Golden State Warriors.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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