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

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

Now, three months into the season, Smith continues to be assured in his pre-season predictions, however he thinks another groups are believing. Warriors-Nets might forestall this from taking place.

“At the beginning of the season, you all had the Golden State Warriors vs. the Brooklyn Nets,” Smith mentioned on this week’s “Draymond Inexperienced Present.” “My prediction, I do not suppose, seems that unhealthy now. I am not as apprehensive about you as I’m about everybody else.”

However Smith’s issues grew after many Warriors gamers, he believed, didn’t step up and carry out within the methods he thought they’d. He named gamers equivalent to Jonathan Cuminga, Moses Moody and James Wiseman however was most important of Clay Thompson.

“That rattling Klay Thompson, and I say that rattling Klay Thompson as a result of you recognize I really like me some Klay Thompson. I believe Klay Thompson is likely one of the 5 greatest shooters in basketball historical past, and in these final three video games he averaged over 25,” mentioned Smith. He sounds just like the Clay I do know and love.”I do not know what the hell was happening with him within the 17, 18 video games that I watched.”

If Thompson and the others cannot get it collectively in time, Smith has an concept of ​​what group will likely be able to take over the Warriors’ reign within the West.

“I believe the Memphis Grizzlies deserve a nod all collectively proper now and I am not sleeping on it [New Orleans] Pelicans, mentioned Smith. However I say it with this caveat. if Klay Thompson and Steve Curry kick offI do not care who will get bumped towards you – you all exit… I believe the one group that may have an opportunity to beat you all – at your greatest – is the Brooklyn Nets, the group at your greatest, as a result of they’ll shoot too.

“I might wish to inform you that [the] Boston [Celtics] And Memphis deserves the nod at present. However I am saving expensive life for my preseason prediction, y’all vs. Brooklyn Nets.”

The Grizzlies had been doubtless the final group Inexperienced wished to listen to about given their current intense encounters with the Warriors. However Smith believes final season’s Western Convention semifinals actually set Memphis up for the jackpot.

“I believe Memphis is prepared. I believe it is your fault,” Smith advised Inexperienced. “You yell at Memphis, and also you get the group. Ja is your son however you like to speak to him, you all love to speak forwards and backwards, as a result of they love to speak. All through my life protecting sports activities, the one factor I’ve all the time cared about is the individuals who actually knock on the door. Memphis is knocking on the door.

“This brother Ja Morant, if he is wholesome and he is battling all of you and so they’ve bought house court docket benefit and I bought a Sport 7 in Memphis, Dray, that is a tricky job. Memphis is knocking on the door. They’re swinging on the heel.”

However after lacking 11 matches with a shoulder harm, Carrie returns to work on a Tuesday night time When the Warriors host the Phoenix Suns. It seems to be good timing for Golden State as Thompson appears to have acknowledged his struggles early within the season.

Thompson averaged 33.6 factors on 46.6 % capturing from the sector and 40.0 % from depth, together with 5.6 rebounds and three.2 assists in 39 minutes over the 5 video games he performed. And as Smith can attest, Splash Bros taking part in alongside one another whereas they’re each sizzling is a really harmful spectacle for the NBA.

Smith mentioned “Child face killer Steve Curry is about to return tonight. That brother is one thing particular. Klay Thompson would have performed higher.” ESPN’s “First Take”. Tuesday morning. “Within the playoffs, you need to keep away from the highest seed, however then once more, the West is wild. It is large open, too.

“Do you actually need to have Clay and Steve at their greatest towards them someday within the postseason? As a result of the one factor we all know will not have an effect on them is the stress, they’re four-time champions. They’re the best backcourt shooter in basketball historical past… Steve Curry in A stadium with something near the Klay Thompson we’re used to is the West’s worst nightmare.”

Associated: 4 issues stood out from the Warriors in Steve’s absence

Phoenix will likely be The primary sufferer of the dynamic duo As a result of she’s going to do something and every thing she will be able to to keep away from that “nightmare” Tuesday at Chase Middle.

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