FedExForum Memphis, TN – January 15, 2024 – 6:00 PM EST

Golden State’s Dub Dynasty Back on Track? Draymond Hopes to Silence Memphis Blues

When two Western Conference titans, the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies, meet on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you know it’s bound to be a battle. But this year, the matchup takes on a new dimension, shrouded in a haze of injuries that have both teams reeling. Can the Warriors, with the potential return of Draymond Green, navigate the Memphis minefield and cover the -7.5 spread? Let’s dissect the contenders.


  • BetQL: Warriors -8.5
  • SportsLine: Warriors -6.5
  • Pickswise: Warriors -9 (75% Confidence)
  • FiveThirtyEight: Warriors 61% win probability
  • Basketball Reference: Warriors 55.6% win probability

Average Model Prediction: Warriors -7.7, 117.2-109.5

My Prediction (using Pythagorean Theorem + Strength of Schedule + Injuries): Warriors -7.5, 118-110

The Warriors: Backcourt Brilliance and Draymond’s Redemption

Golden State, despite missing key players like Chris Paul, Gary Payton II, and Moses Moody, has shown its offensive prowess lately. Steph Curry’s return after a one-game rest against Milwaukee sparks fear in any defense. His 36-point performance in Chicago on Friday is a testament to his unwavering offensive dominance. With Klay Thompson finding his groove and Jordan Poole providing consistent support, the Warriors’ backcourt remains a force to be reckoned with.

But the biggest news is Draymond Green’s anticipated return. His defensive anchor role and on-court leadership are sorely missed. Coach Steve Kerr, aware of the second chance Green has been given, emphasizes the importance of a focused and controlled return. “Draymond knows his career is on the line,” Kerr stated. If Green channels his frustration into defensive intensity and playmaking brilliance, the Warriors’ already potent offense could become unstoppable.

The Grizzlies: Grit Remains, But Will It Be Enough?

Memphis, unfortunately, faces a much steeper uphill battle. Gone are the days of Morant’s electrifying drives and Bane’s clutch shooting. With both out for the season, and Jaren Jackson Jr. and Steven Adams sidelined as well, the Grizzlies’ core is decimated. To make matters worse, injuries continue to pile up, leaving the roster depleted and scrambling for replacements.

However, the Grizzlies have resilience ingrained in their DNA. Coach Taylor Jenkins is a master at maximizing what he has. Their two-three-and four-game winning streaks earlier this season showcase their ability to overcome adversity. Vince Williams Jr.’s breakout performance against the Knicks is a glimpse of the hidden gems waiting to shine.

Why the Warriors Will Cover the Spread

  • Offensive Firepower: Curry and Thompson form a lethal offensive duo that’s difficult to contain. With Draymond’s potential return, their offensive schemes become even more intricate and efficient.
  • Defensive Advantage: Draymond’s return bolsters the Warriors’ already top-ranked defense. Memphis, without their usual offensive weapons, struggles to generate consistent scoring.
  • Road Warriors: Golden State has surprisingly thrived on the road this season. Their recent victories in Chicago and Milwaukee demonstrate their ability to adjust to different arenas and atmospheres.
  • Grit vs. Skill: While Memphis’ grit deserves respect, the Warriors’ combination of skill, experience, and now, potentially, renewed focus with Draymond’s return, seems like a potent recipe for success.


While the -7.5 spread might seem daunting, the Warriors’ offensive firepower, defensive advantage, and recent road success make them the logical choice to cover. Memphis, even with their trademark grit, simply lacks the offensive firepower to keep up with a healthy Golden State squad. This Martin Luther King Jr. Day matchup might be an injury-riddled affair, but the Warriors, with Draymond potentially back in the fold, look poised to claim victory and cover the spread.

Pick: Golden State Warriors -7.5 Loss