San Francisco, CA – Once the Memphis Grizzlies inserted Steven Adams into the starting lineup, the Golden State Warriors put their small lineup on the back burner. As the series went on, the Grizzlies’ center continued to dominate the paint and forced the Warriors to change their game plan.
However, the switch wasn’t made by Steve Kerr or the acting head coach Mike Brown. The call came from someone else.
Mike Brown said Draymond Green and Stephen Curry made the call to start Kevon Looney tonight.
— Mark Haynes (@markhaynesnba) May 14, 2022
“The reality of it was, it was Draymond’s call, Draymond and Steph’s and it’s our job to give our players confidence,” Brown told ClutchPoints. “They looked us all in the eye and said that’s where we’re going to get our confidence, and they’ve done it before. Draymond has carried this organization for years… Steph and Klay with their shooting, but what Draymond does, it’s unbelievable, and Steve is going to roll with Draymond no matter what the outcome is.”
Looney led the team to a series-high 70 rebounds. The former UCLA Bruin grabbed a game-high 22 rebounds in Game 6, 11 of them came in the first quarter. Roles were reversed in Game 6. The team that controlled the paint for the last couple of games, looked like the smaller team. It was all because of Looney.
The game was closed for most of the night, and neither team shot the ball well. But in the fourth quarter, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry were simply too much to handle for the Grizzlies. The Warriors went on a run midway through the final period, and it ended up being the final blow.
It was a tough physical series that tested the Warriors, and they must be so glad it is finally behind them. Now they will face either the Phoenix Suns or Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. It’s the Warriors’ first appearance in the conference finals since 2019.