HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Appropriately, the best team in the regular season was the first to win a playoff series. The Golden State Warriors are a combined 71-15 in games that count and 62-9 in games that Andrew Bogut has played.
And for the second straight series, the Warriors are facing an opponent with a point guard who isn’t close to 100 percent. In the first round, it was Jrue Holiday. And in the conference semifinals, it’s Mike Conley, who suffered multiple facial fractures in Game 3 of the first round and missed the last two games of the Grizzlies’ series win over the Blazers.
Memphis had the second-best record in the Western Conference with less than three weeks left in the regular season. But a 5-6 mark down the stretch dropped them into the 4-5 matchup and has them facing the league’s best team in the conference semifinals.
Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for Warriors-Grizzlies, with links to let you dive in and explore more.
Golden State Warriors (67-15)
Beat New Orleans in four games.
Pace: 94.6 (15)
OffRtg: 111.6 (2)
DefRtg: 104.1 (9)
NetRtg: +7.6 (3)
Warriors’ first-round notes:
- Best offensive rebounding team in the playoffs, grabbing 30.9 percent of available offensive boards.
- Averaged 22.5 fast break points against New Orleans, a mark that leads the postseason.
- Starters outscored the Pelicans by 25.7 points per 100 possessions in 61 minutes, the best mark among lineups that have played at least 50 minutes in the playoffs.
- Draymond Green has the best raw plus-minus of the playoffs at plus-77.
- The Pelicans shot 25.0 percent when Klay Thompson was guarding them. That’s the best mark among players who have defended at least 25 shots in the first round, according to SportVU.
- 47-0 (45-0 in the regular season, 2-0 in the playoffs) after leading by 15 or more points.
Memphis Grizzlies (55-27)
Beat Portland in five games.
Pace: 94.7 (13)
OffRtg: 106.1 (5)
DefRtg: 99.0 (5)
NetRtg: +7.1 (4)
Grizzlies’ first-round notes:
- Turned the ball over on just 8.7 percent of their possessions, the lowest rate in the playoffs.
- Only team that has taken less than half of its shots from the restricted area or 3-point range. Only 14.6 percent of their shots were threes, by far the lowest rate in the postseason.
- Allowed 91.1 points per 100 possessions in their three games at home and 111.3 in their three games on the road.
- Best free throw shooting team in the first round at 85.0 percent.
- Marc Gasol has registered 18.4 elbow touches per game, 3.6 more than any other player.
- No team played the Grizzlies at a faster pace.
- Klay Thompson averaged 30.7 points, his highest average against any Western Conference opponent. His 18 3-pointers were the most he made against any opponent.
- The Warriors were a plus-66 in 102 minutes with Stephen Curry on the floor and a minus-46 in 42 minutes with Curry on the bench.
- The Grizzlies’ starting lineup attempted just five 3-pointers and four free throws in 26 minutes.
- Beno Udrih, one of the best mid-range shooters in the league, shot just 2-for-11 from mid-range against the Warriors.