The Warriors on a 4 game slide and 1-7 without David Lee. To make matters worse, their on the road against a healthy Memphis Grizzlies team. From zero to hero in Memphis, Zach Randolph is averaging 17 points and 12 rebounds per game since returning from injury. Although the Grizzlies are 6-9, they look to be a match-up nightmare for the current injured Warriors squad.
Lee's absence has had a quite an effect on the team with reverberations felt in the offensive struggles of teammates. On both sides of the ball, the Warriors look as if they're playing pick-up ball, wildly throwing up jump shots with reckless abandon. Calling it "Nellieball" would be an understatement.
The offense hasn't been clicking since Lee's injury and part of that has been their struggles to hit jumpers. Curry's inability to drive and dish is partly hampered by his consistency issues shooting from the perimeter. Plus, without Lee's skills to help space the floor, passing to rookie in Jeff Adrien and all-hustle but no offense in Dan Gadzuric, has got to have an effect on not just his assists but his ability to make plays.
But besides that, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry have struggled mightly and seemed over-matched even by the Houston Rockets' guards in Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry. Atma Brother #1 at Golden State of Mind breaks down the matchups and seems to agree that these matchups favor the Grizzlies. But then again, when doesn't it favor the opponents?
During this 4 game losing streak, the Warriors remain, surprisingly, one of the better offensive teams but are nearly last in defensive, giving up 106 points a game compared to the Grizzlies 102.
The Warriors gave up 51 freethrow attempts against the Rockets and the free throw disparity continues to grow as the Denver Nuggets and the Los Angeles Lakers before that have all nearly doubled the Warriors freethrow attempts. What these stats expose are the struggles the Warriors continuously had recently with boxing out, reaching, and rotation. One of the many problems observable in the Rockets loss was the number of block calls as Warriors attempted to draw charges, desperately rushing into the expose paint with blown defensive assignments.
The Warriors currently sit second atop the Pacific Division, tied with the Phoenix Suns who also sit at 7-8. Looks as if this division has turned into the NFC West.