Warriors observations: Andre Iguodala returns, scores six in loss to Grizzlies

No Steph Curry, no Klay Thompson, no Draymond Green, no Otto Porter Jr. and a longer list of problems. That’s about how it went Monday night in Memphis for the Warriors with their 123-95 loss to the Grizzlies at FedExForum.

The Warriors scored the first five points of the game and led 5-0 in the first minute. They only scored 11 points in the next 11 minutes.

With each wonky lineup Steve Kerr trotted out there, nothing seemed to work. Golden State simply was cooked playing its fifth game in seven days and finished their five game road trip 1-4.

There are slow starts, and then there’s whatever the Warriors showed in the first half on Monday night. They only made 12 shots and committed 14 crowds. They shot 27.3 percent from the field, 23.5 percent from deep, handed out only seven assists, allowed 15 fastbreak points and 30 points in the paint. That’s how a team trails by 26 points going into halftime.

It’s also how a coach has seen enough and earns two quick technical fouls as his players jog to the tunnel, just as Kerr did.

Next up, just dates with the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz at Chase Center.

Jordan Poole scored at least 20 points in his 14th straight game, scoring 25 points in 28 minutes. Rookies Jonathan Kuminga (15) and Moses Moody (18) combined for 33 points. Andrew Wiggins scored only 10 points while going 5-for-15 and he missed all five of his 3-point attempts.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ third straight loss and sixth in their last seven games, dropping them to 48-28 on the season. They are now five games behind the Grizzlies (53-23) and just one and a half games ahead of the Dallas Mavericks (46-29).

Andre Iguodala’s Impact

Iguodala made his long-awaited return to the Warriors after missing the last seven weeks with a back injury. He was met with boos from the Memphis crowd, and quickly quieted them down by hitting a 3-pointer just 15 seconds after checking in.

The 38-year-old played 16 minutes in his return. He made two of his three attempts from the field, a 3-pointer and a dunk, and scored six points to go with three rebounds and two assists. Iguodala was a plus-2.

He and Juan Toscano-Anderson (plus-1) were the only two Warriors who had a positive plus-minus.

Roster Hole Exposed

It’s not a secret at this point that the Warriors are smaller than most of their opponents. That story has been told, although it isn’t going away and it again was clear against a big, strong and long Grizzlies team. Another deficiency was exposed as well.

Playmaking obviously is minimized with Curry and Green sidelined, as well as Porter’s smarts and Thompson’s scoring ability. But with Poole in the starting lineup and the Warriors undermanned, their lack of ballhandlers and players who can run an offense and make a play was made apparent. Big time.

Blaming a two-way player at the back of the roster is a weak cop-out. That doesn’t mean how can’t be had. Chris Chiozza played 20 minutes, had a team-high four turnovers, committed four fouls and simply looked overmatched most of the time.

Iguodala will bring leadership and stability to the second unit. This also was only his 27th game played this season, and we’ll have to wait and see how his body reacts to being back on the floor for extended minutes. If health continues to be an issue for the Warriors, this hole only will be exposed even more.

Grizzlies Ain’t Scared

With their blowout win over the Warriors, the Grizzlies now are 18-2 without Ja Morant. The Warriors are 3-9 without Steph this season. That should speak volumes to where these two teams are at right now.

Whether they have their superstar or not, these Grizzlies aren’t going to lose any confidence or swagger. From Desmond Bane draining 3-pointers to Dillon Brooks literally screaming every second, Steven Adams bullying his way through the pain and De’Anthony Melton throwing down a poster on Kevon Looney, the Grizzlies flexed all over Golden State in this game.

The Warriors lost three of their four games to the Grizzlies in the regular season. Curry played in two of those — one win and one loss — and averaged 41 points in those two contests. Green played in two of the four games, and the Warriors also went 1-1 with him against the Grizzlies. Thompson played Memphis just once and scored 14 points in an eight-point loss.

The Grizzlies are here and they look ready to compete for years to come, no matter who the Warriors throw their way.

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