Inside the Scope: Golden State Warriors (23-14) x San Antonio Spurs (30-11)
- Tip Off: 5:30 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
San Antonio Spurs Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 107.1 (5th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 98.3 (tied for 4th in NBA)
- Points: Tony Parker, 19.4 PPG
- Rebounds: Tim Duncan, 9.6 RPG
- Assists: Tony Parker, 7.2 APG
- Steals: Kawhi Leonard, 1.8 SPG
- Blocks: Tim Duncan, 2.8 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Boris Diaw, 60.2% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Matt Bonner, 47.4% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: 48 Minutes of Hell.
Preview: Fresh off a humbling defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, the Golden State Warriors will embark on a relatively tough stretch of their schedule as they play the San Antonio Spurs tonight, the New Orleans Hornets tomorrow and then the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder early next week.
Once that’s over and done with, the Dubs will head to the east coast for a four-game road trip, highlighted by a back-to-back set in Chicago and Milwaukee.
Needless to say, the schedule for the next few weeks will be pretty tough.
But before getting too far ahead in the calendar, let’s focus on tonight’s contest.
Stephen Curry will miss tonight’s game against the Spurs, which is obviously a huge blow. Not only does it mean that Golden State will be missing a key ball handler and playmaker, they will also be missing a lights out shooter.
NBA.com’s advanced stats tool tells us that with Steph on the court, the Warriors produce 101.7 points and 23.8 assists per 48 minutes whereas when he is off the floor the Dubs submit 91.4 points and 18.9 assists per 48 minutes.
Miami exploited his absence Wednesday night, and San Antonio might just tilt their defense towards Jarrett Jack and David Lee, who typically serves as a pressure release option, to force miscues and boggle down the offense.
Klay Thompson will have to play big tonight not only in terms of shooting the ball, but creating plays off the dribble when curling off screens for both himself and his teammates to remove some of the playmaking pressure that rests on Jack’s shoulders as well as the predictability of the offense.
San Antonio will consistently force Golden State to go to their third, fourth and fifth options and that chest match will ultimately decide the outcome of the contest. Again, the absence of Curry will be a huge blow, but perhaps allowing other players to share some of the offensive responsibilities might benefit the team later in the season.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.
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