(SportsNetwork.com) - The Golden State Warriors continue their march toward an NBA Finals appearance when they open their Western Conference semifinal series with the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors finished with the best regular-season record in franchise history at 67-15. Golden State finished with the league's best record and tied the sixth-best regular season mark. The Warriors are the 10th team to win 67 games during the regular season, and seven of the previous nine won the NBA title.
They earned the top overall seed in the West and dispatched the No. 8 New Orleans Pelicans in four games. Golden State hasn't played since a week ago Saturday.
This series offers an interesting contrast of styles.
The Warriors led the NBA in scoring, while the Grizzlies finished second in scoring defense. Golden State was not all offense, however. The Warriors led the league in field goal percentage defense, while the Grizz were 10th.
The Warriors have the Splash Brothers -- MVP favorite Steph Curry and All-Star Klay Thompson. They handled the bulk of the scoring, while the Grizzlies boast a powerful frontline with Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph.
"There's not that many big teams in the league anymore. Memphis is one of them," explained Golden State coach Steve Kerr. "We feel like we have the personnel to try and match up and defend them well."
Draymond Green of the Warriors finished second to San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard in Defensive Player of the Year voting. Center Andrew Bogut is one of the best defensive centers in the association.
Memphis was the fifth seed, but had homecourt advantage over the Portland Trail Blazers in round one. The Grizzlies needed five games to dispatch the injury-ravaged Blazers, so they've been off since Wednesday.
"We wanted to go get the job done now, get some days of rest to get ready for the next tough series," Grizzlies veteran forward Vince Carter said.
The Grizzlies have a huge injury concern. Guard Mike Conley missed the final two games of the Portland series after getting hit in the face in Game 3. Conley required facial surgery for the fractures. There's no timetable for his return, although he will travel with the team to Oakland.
"We're hopeful that it'll be sooner than later," Conley told TNT. "It has a lot to do with swelling. (The injuries) were pretty serious to my knowledge. I'm happy to get out of it successfully. My eye was swollen shut two days ago."
These two teams have never met in the postseason. The Warriors won two of three from the Grizzlies during the regular season, including one in Memphis. However, the Grizz are 12-5 versus the Warriors since the 2010-11 season. At one point during that stretch, the Grizzlies won five in a row at Oracle Arena.
"We know who they are," Curry said. "It's going to be a tough battle. They're a great team that's been together a while. We've got to be ready from Game 1.
"It should be fun."
Game 2 will be Tuesday night.