The matchup of the game when the San Antonio Spurs visit the Golden State Warriors will be between Cory Joseph and Stephen Curry.
The Spurs will be without starting point guard Tony Parker (sore neck), so this will mean Joseph may take the majority of the minutes for this game with the team heading into the playoffs. Joseph's defense will be tested out against Curry, who's one of the league's premiere shooters. The Spurs are locked in to the second seed for the postseason while the Warriors are looking to get themselves in position for the sixth seed. The Spurs' bench may play spoiler and, if they do, Joseph will be a big part of that.
What Joseph must do on offense:
The Warriors aren't the best on the ball defenders and Curry may be one of the reasons for that. Joseph can get by Curry, especially on screens, for open looks. Joseph has had enough time to pick and roll during practice with teammates and that's something that will be valuable this game. Cory Joseph will also luxury of a defense that's spread out if Matt Bonner plays, which will make his drives easier. Joseph is shooting 0% (0-4) from the arc for the Spurs this season but has chipped in 75% (3-4) from the corner 3-point line. While he may have poor numbers in some of those areas, he hasn't had many attempts to know if they're hot spots or not yet. He'll likely get plenty of opportunities this game, especially in the paint where he's shooting 80% (12-15) from the restricted area.
What Joseph must do on defense:
He needs to stop Curry from catching and shooting on the 3-point line. Curry's stroke is one of the most reliable in the league and he doesn't mind shooting spotting up, off a pick, or in a catch and shoot situation. Curry is shooting 44% (159-361) from wing and 52% (33-64) from the corner. If that will be a difficult task for Joseph to stop, Stephen Curry is also shooting 42% (153-363) from mid range.While he's shooting at a high rate from mid range, Joseph and the Spurs will take Curry shooting long two point shots over making 3-pointers this game. Joseph will likely have to fight over more than one pick with the Warriors focusing their offense around Curry, but he'll be do well for fighting and contesting every shot.
The matchup of the game will be between Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs and Jarrett Jack of the Golden State Warriors for tonight's game at the AT&T Center.
While both men technically don't play the same position in the depth chart, both teams ask the same from them off the bench. Ginobili and Jack are both sixth men for their respective teams and play the point guard position for the majority of their time on the floor. With Gary Neal on the floor, Manu takes over the point duties on offense while guarding his man on defense with Neal's inability to handle the ball consistently.
In the last meeting between the two teams, the Spurs fell to the Warriors 107-101 at Golden State behind and that was mostly Jarrett Jack doing the damage. He scored 30 points on 11-22 (50%) shooting and dished out 10 assists. He was also +19 in the process. Ginobili also had a decent game with 18 points on 8-17 (40%) shooting with 5 rebounds but was 0-5 on 3-point field goal attempts. Ginobili has seemed to get in a groove in March averaging 12.5ppg (.1 points higher than his average) and has gotten more involved in the offense by averaging 6.8apg this month (2.1 points higher than his season average).
What Ginobili must do on offense:
He's only averaging 2apg against the Warriors this season, well under both his monthly average and his season average. He's scoring 18ppg against them, but he needs to get the rest of the offense involved. Golden State is ranked 21st (100.2ppg) in points allowed this season, which means the Spurs should get good looks against the Warriors with their poor defense. Manu must move the ball and use picks to get the defense rotating which will either give him an open shot or his teammates one. Manu isn't having trouble scoring against the Warriors, but he has to be aggressive to command the defense to commit to stopping him and that'll help his assist numbers go up against this team.
What Ginobili must do on defense:
Coach Gregg Popovich usually changes defensive lineups and it wouldn't be too much of a shocker if Pop put a taller longer defender like Ginobili against Jarrett Jack. This season with Jack, it's been a "pick your poison" type of strategy defending him. He's shooting above 40% in all areas. He's averaging 51% (41-80) in the restricted area, but prefers to shoot mid range where he's averaging 46% (116-253) and in the paint area where he's also averaging 46% (75-165). He really doesn't have too much of a weakness this season and is shooting where he feels comfortable as opposed to trying to take hard shots and making them. Ginobili defending him should cause him a bit of discomfort with his size and foot speed, but Manu has to stay in front of him and trust the Spurs' big men to help against him. It'd be better for the Spurs to make Jack work for his shots in the paint than take spot up jumpers where he doesn't use much energy.
Tim Duncan and David Lee will be the matchup for tonight's game between the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors.
Duncan is coming off another impressive performance against the Memphis Grizzlies. He had 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 blocks and helped carry San Antonio to a win. The Warriors will be tested with Stephen Curry's recent ankle injury so the Warriors may be looking for David Lee to score and carry some of the load for the team. Duncan and Lee will be an exciting matchup with both being able to shoot and score in the paint. From last season's matchup, Lee shot 50% from the restricted area and from mid range (both were 2-4) while Duncan had a more impressing showing with 80% shooting from the paint (4-5) and 50% from mid range area (2-4).
What Duncan must do on offense:
He has to use his length and height against Lee. Duncan is still playing at an impressive rate and his long arms and height will help shoot over other forwards or centers without fear of getting blocked. Lee is not known as a physical player and Duncan can exploit that on the offensive end by posting up. The Spurs will have to play a mix of slow and fast paced styles and Duncan will be relied upon to make both of those happen. The Warriors are not known as a great defensive team, so Duncan can easily get to the rim by posting up and that'll open shots for the rest of the team. The Spurs can go with a few 4 Down plays in the shot clock and get quick shots up, a mix of the old slower style incorporated with the new faster style the San Antonio Spurs like to play.
What Duncan must do on defense:
He has to dare Lee to be active on the offensive end. The Spurs will be able to score against the Warriors, but they have to get some stops and get some breathing room for the bench to come in. That will be mostly on Duncan, who will have to guard the Warriors' versatile players while having to protect the paint at the same time. Duncan's been timing other shots perfectly as of late with his 2.8 blocks per game so far this season. He's also great at getting position for rebounding on the defensive end and that leads to quick outlets for the team. Duncan will have to be the Spurs' best all around defender this game for the team to win.