Tons of basketball talk Wednesday on 95.7-FM The Game. We had on Warriors’ television analyst Jim Barnett, the USA Today’s Sam Amick and Tim Roye, the voice of the Warriors. Here are the links to the audio of those interviews. Then, after the links is a rundown of some of the things we discussed with each guest.
–Barnett: Jim brought up a very interesting point about the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol and the Warriors’ Draymond Green. The last time these two teams played — a 110-89 Grizzlies blowout in Memphis on Dec. 10 — Gasol controlled the game. He finished with “only” 19 points but during those times the Grizzlies couldn’t get out in transition (I can’t believe I just typed that), they put the ball in Gasol’s hands and everything slowed down.
Gasol also had eight rebounds and six assists in his 31-plus minutes. Gasol likely would have played more but his team was in control the entire night.
Green defended Gasol for stretches in that game and didn’t have a lot of success. First off, it’s not fair the 6-foot-7 Green should have to guard Gasol, the lumbering vending machine. Secondly, Gasol is so skilled he gives even the best defenders trouble — bigger or smaller. The dynamic, though, between those two players is interesting.
If Green, who is by far the Warriors’ best defender, can’t hold his own against Gasol, it means the Warriors are losing a matchup they (almost) never lose. Now, it wasn’t like Green was dominated by Gasol. He wasn’t. But Gasol was able to catch, survey and assess in the low post, even with Green defending. He was never in a rush and most of the time made the right decision when he eventually made up his mind. But the reality is Green can often win a matchup on the defensive end alone. Tough to imagine him doing it the more he guards Gasol.
–Amick: We popped around the league with Sam. He talked about what he thought might be going on with Curry (not much), why Houston has taken its game to the next level and what’s the difference between Isaiah Thomas in Boston and Isaiah Thomas in Sacramento.
I also asked Sam about the Portland Trail Blazers and whether down the line they’d think about breaking up their backcourt of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. He had some interesting things to say about that.
Sam is also a Bay Area native (Pleasanton) so he was more than able to give insightful commentary on the Warriors’ move to San Francisco and how it will affect the team, its fans, etc.
–Roye: We talked some about Zaza Pachulia with Tim, and he pointed out that Pachulia’s adjustment to the Warriors is something that’s been lost in the shuffle. Pachulia isn’t exactly a scoring machine, but you could always count on him to take a good, healthy look at the basket from 15 or 17 feet when he had space.
But this year, likely knowing there are incredible shooters around him, Pachulia has been a tad more reluctant to let that shot go. Tim thinks that the past few games might be showing Pachulia has turned a corner as far as his comfort level with his new team.
There’s some concern out there about Andre Iguodala, who’s been a little up and down, shall we say. You know Iguodala is always going to give you the defense and the know-how. But he’s been downright timid at times offensively, and it hasn’t been hard to notice that something’s going on with him and transition situations where he seems to have an advantage. The guy doesn’t seem like he wants to finish.