The San Antonio Spurs (42-16) are down to just eight games to play before the NBA Playoffs begin in three weeks. By the end of this week, the Spurs will have played five of those games in the next seven days.
The Spurs begin their busy week with a visit to the West coast, as they make their first stop of a back-to-back-to-back in Golden State. The Spurs will be bringing their 17-11 road record into Golden State and it’s unknown if all players, or just some players will play in the game.
The Spurs have a connection with the Warriors as they acquired Stephen Jackson in a trade deadline deal for forward Richard Jefferson. Jackson plays a vital role in the Spurs’ rotation, while Jefferson is most likely out for the season with a knee injury, as well as Warriors forward David Lee.
The Warriors are also without the services of center Andrew Bogut and guard Stephen Curry, who have both been sidelined for the majority of the season. The Warriors are trying to end a four game losing streak, but even at home (12-17), the Warriors still have a tough task in defeating the Spurs, as the Warriors are 2-8 in their last 10 games, while the Spurs are 8-2 in their last 10 games.
Case No. 59: Golden State Warriors (22-37)
- Klay Thompson – 11.5 points (9.9 FGA), Nate Robinson – 10.8 points (9.3 FGA), Dorell Wright – 10 points (8.4 FGA), Brandon Rush – 9.2 points (6.9 FGA). From looking at this group, the area that stands out is the amount of perimeter scorers the Warriors have. The Spurs’ perimeter defenders Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Jackson, Danny Green, Gary Neal, Manu Ginobili, and Patty Mills will have to be ready for the Warriors’ wings, especially aware when the shooters are set-up along the three-point line.
Shooting/Posting High Percentages
- Andris Biedrins (61% FG). Brandon Rush (48% FG). Charles Jenkins (48% FG)
Three-Point marks men
- Dorell Wright (4.7 x 3PT FGA – 35%), Klay Thompson (3.9 x 3PT FGA – 44%), Nate Robinson (3.5 x 3PT FGA – 36%), Brandon Rush (3.3 x 3PT FGA – 45%). The most dangerous shooter for the Warriors is Rush, but Wright seems to be the players who shoots the most from beyond the arc.
- Nate Robinson (4.5 assists)
- Nate Robinson (1.5 steals)
Denying the Rim
- Mickell Gladness (1.1 blocks), Andris Biedrins (1 block)
Offense vs. Offense
- 1. Points: Spurs (101.8) – Warriors (98.3) = Spurs
- 2. Assists: Spurs (22.6) – Warriors (22.4) = Spurs
- 3. Shooting percentage: Spurs (47.2%) – Warriors (45.8%) = Spurs
- 4. Three point shooting percentage: Spurs (38.9%) – Warriors (39.1%) = Warriors
- 5. Turnovers: Spurs (13.1) – Warriors (13.5) = Spurs
Offensive Leader: Spurs 4-1
Defensively, the Spurs’ defense’s main focus will be stopping the Warriors perimeter shooting. The Warriors shoot a pretty good percentage from beyond the arc, so the Spurs must be active on defense in closing out on shooters and rotating when a player drives-and-kicks out to the perimeter shooters.
Defense vs. Defense
- 1. Opponent scoring: Spurs (96.3) – Warriors (101.3) = Spurs
- 2. Opponent shooting: Spurs (45%) – Warriors (46%) = Spurs
- 3. Opponent 3PT shooting: Spurs (36%) – Warriors (37%) = Spurs
- 4. Rebounds: Spurs (42.6) – Warriors (39.1) = Spurs
- 5. Personal Fouls: Spurs (17.4) – Warriors (21.5) = Spurs
Defensive Leader: Spurs 5-0
Offensively, the Spurs should be able to get any shots they want on the Warriors. The Warriors allow offenses to put up major points on them; one reason is their smaller lineups, and their lack of rebounding because of their size and injuries.
The Spurs just need to push the pace, run their motion pick-and-roll offense, and shots will open up in the inside and outside against the Warriors’ defense. The Spurs will be their own enemy if they turn the ball over like they did on Saturday against the Phoenix Suns with 24-turnovers.
If all of the Spurs’ players play in this game, it shouldn’t be nothing less of a blowout for the Spurs in which the starters should be resting through the entire fourth quarter.
However, if coach Popovich elects to sit some players in preparation for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, this could be a “fun” high scoring affair between the Warriors, and the NBA’s deepest team in the Spurs.
Either way, I anticipate a ton of three’s to be hoisted. The fans will get to see a fun game regardless of who is on the floor with these two offensive teams.