Scouting the Warriors: Spurs march forward without Ginobili

The last two days have been a roller coaster for the San Antonio Spurs (3-2) as they lost guard TDManu Ginobili to a broken hand in their loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, then the team made three roster changes on Tuesday.

The team sent rookie guard Cory Joseph to the Austin Toros, recalled guard Gary Neal from the Toros, and signed free agent forward Ike Diogu.

Just because Ginobili’s out doesn’t mean the season is over, the Spurs must press forward with the team they currently have in order to maintain a winning record in the Western Conference.

The Spurs will host the Golden State Warriors (2-3) led by the guard duo of Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. Forward David Lee is questionable to play due to illness.

The Warriors have yet to win a road game and are looking to end a two game losing skid. The Warriors have two impressive wins by defeating the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, but they also have an embarrassing 28-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ersand double-digit losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns.

The Warriors are on the verge of adding scoring guard Nate Robinson to the team pending he passes his physical.

The Warriors are learning an entirely new system with former NBA analyst and player Mark Jackson taking over the team this season. The Warriors’ horrific defense from the past is making improvements under Jackson as they are ranked in the middle of the league by holding their opponents to an average of 96.6 points per game.

The Good for the Warriors

One area where the Warriors are ranked top-10 in the league in is in steals, as the Warriors average nine steals per game, which is tied for sixth in the NBA.

The Bad for the Warriors

Though Monta Ellis can fill up the scoring sheet as an individual, the Warriors struggle to score points as a team as they average 89.4 points per game, which is ranked at 25th in the league.

Investigating the Warriors offense

The Warriors are a team that attacks from the perimeter to the paint with Ellis and Curry driving and kicking out to teammates, similar to the Spurs’ attack with Parker and Ginobili. Against the Suns, 39.6% of the Warriors’ points came from inside the paint while the other percentages were from the perimeter. The Warriors are led by Ellis (20 points, 5 assists, 18.5 FGA), Lee (18.8 points, 8 rebounds, 16.8 FGA), and Curry (14 points, 5 assists, 2.3 steals, 11.8 FGA). Brandon Rush (10.6 points, 8.4 FGA) is the go to man off of the bench.

Projected Line-Ups/Matchups (starters underlined)

Backcourt

Spurs: Tony Parker, James Anderson, T.J. Ford, Gary Neal

Warriors: Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Brandon Rush, Ish Smith, Klay Thompson, Charles Jenkins

Advantage: Warriors

The Wing

Spurs: Richard Jefferson, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green

Warriors: Dorell Wright, Chris Wright

Advantage: Spurs

Frontcourt

Spurs: Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair, Tiago Splitter, Matt Bonner, Ike Diogu

Warriors: Andris Biedrins, Dominic McGuire, Kwame Brown, Ekpe Udoh, Jeremy Tyler

Advantage: Spurs

Injuries

Spurs: Manu Ginobili (broken 5th metacarpal), Warriors: David Lee (questionable, illness)

Final Take

Even with Ginobili out, the Spurs look to have advantages on the wing, frontcourt, and in bench depth. Like the Timberwolves, all it takes is a few open shots to get the Warriors firing on all cylinders as the majority of their guards can hit from behind the arc. As long as the Spurs take care of the ball, get some scoring from the frontcourt and bench; they should be able to get their first win without Ginobili.

Paul Garcia

About Paul Garcia

Paul is a San Antonio Spurs credentialed media member for Project Spurs. He covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, TX, and the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals. Paul has been featured on WOAI, Fox 29, and numerous nationwide radio shows.

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