Retreat Stephen A. Smith on the Warriors’ NBA Finals predictions for the Grizzlies

At the start of the 2022-23 NBA season, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith predicted that the Warriors and Brooklyn Nets would meet in the NBA Finals.

Now, three months into the season, Smith is still confident in his pre-season predictions, but he thinks some other teams are believing. Warriors-Nets may prevent this from happening.

“At the start of the season, you all had the Golden State Warriors vs. the Brooklyn Nets,” Smith said on this week’s “Draymond Green Show.” “My prediction, I don’t think, looks that bad now. I’m not as worried about you as I am about everyone else.”

But Smith’s concerns grew after many Warriors players, he believed, did not step up and perform in the ways he thought they would. He named players such as Jonathan Cuminga, Moses Moody and James Wiseman but was most critical of Clay Thompson.

“That damn Klay Thompson, and I say that damn Klay Thompson because you know I love me some Klay Thompson. I think Klay Thompson is one of the five best shooters in basketball history, and in those last three games he averaged over 25,” said Smith. He sounds like the Clay I know and love.”I don’t know what the hell was going on with him in the 17, 18 games that I watched.”

If Thompson and the others can’t get it together in time, Smith has an idea of ​​what team will be ready to take over the Warriors’ reign in the West.

“I think the Memphis Grizzlies deserve a nod all together right now and I’m not sleeping on it [New Orleans] Pelicans, said Smith. But I say it with this caveat. if Klay Thompson and Steve Curry kick offI don’t care who gets bumped against you – you all go out… I think the only team that will have a chance to beat you all – at your best – is the Brooklyn Nets, the team at your best, because they can shoot too.

“I’d like to tell you that [the] Boston [Celtics] And Memphis deserves the nod today. But I’m saving dear life for my preseason prediction, y’all vs. Brooklyn Nets.”

The Grizzlies were likely the last team Green wanted to hear about given their recent intense encounters with the Warriors. But Smith believes last season’s Western Conference semifinals really set Memphis up for the jackpot.

“I think Memphis is ready. I think it’s your fault,” Smith told Green. “You yell at Memphis, and you get the crowd. Ja is your son but you love to talk to him, you all love to talk back and forth, because they love to talk. Throughout my life covering sports, the one thing I’ve always cared about is the people who really knock on the door. Memphis is knocking on the door.

“This brother Ja Morant, if he’s healthy and he’s battling all of you and they’ve got home court advantage and I got a Game 7 in Memphis, Dray, that’s a tough job. Memphis is knocking on the door. They’re swinging at the heel.”

But after missing 11 matches with a shoulder injury, Carrie returns to work on a Tuesday night When the Warriors host the Phoenix Suns. It appears to be good timing for Golden State as Thompson seems to have recognized his struggles early in the season.

Thompson averaged 33.6 points on 46.6 percent shooting from the field and 40.0 percent from depth, along with 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 39 minutes over the five games he played. And as Smith can attest, Splash Bros playing alongside each other while they’re both hot is a very dangerous spectacle for the NBA.

Smith said “Baby face killer Steve Curry is about to return tonight. That brother is something special. Klay Thompson would have played better.” ESPN’s “First Take”. Tuesday morning. “In the playoffs, you want to avoid the top seed, but then again, the West is wild. It’s wide open, too.

“Do you really want to have Clay and Steve at their best against them sometime in the postseason? Because the only thing we know won’t affect them is the tension, they’re four-time champions. They’re the greatest backcourt shooter in basketball history… Steve Curry in A stadium with anything close to the Klay Thompson we’re used to is the West’s worst nightmare.”

Related: Four things stood out from the Warriors in Steve’s absence

Phoenix will be The first victim of the dynamic duo Because she will do anything and everything she can to avoid that “nightmare” Tuesday at Chase Center.

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