- Tip Off: 7:30 p.m. (P.T.)
- Television: ESPN, CSN-BA
San Antonio Spurs Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 107.6 (4th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 98.4 (3rd in NBA)
- Points: Tony Parker, 21.2 PPG
- Rebounds: Tim Duncan, 9.6 RPG
- Assists: Tony Parker, 7.7 APG
- Steals: Kawhi Leonard, 1.8 SPG
- Blocks: Tim Duncan, 2.7 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Tiago Splitter, 59.4% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Matt Bonner, 43.7% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: 48 Minutes of Hell.
Preview: The Golden State Warriors (31-23) put an end to their six-game losing streak earlier this week by defeating the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena. The victory might be just what the team needs to get back to the good defensive habits they exhibited earlier in the season when they were the surprise of the league.
The bad news is that San Antonio (44-12) is coming to town.
The Spurs might not be the most talented team in the league, but they sure look like it when they get out on the court by virtue of their wonderful execution and team play.
Indeed, there are times when Gregg Popovich’s group just seems like it’s toying with opponents.
They spread the floor with shooters and passers to perfectly complement one another when defenders converge on them, which drives opposing defenses crazy.
For instance, the Spurs will throw out Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson and Danny Green out there on the floor to swing the ball side-to-side to create driving lanes and open shots for the likes of Matt Bonner and Nando de Colo.
Needless to say, that five-man unit isn’t San Antonio’s bread and butter; that would have to be Tony Parker, Manu Ginobil and Tim Duncan. The trio is as lethal as they come because they are quite simply a murderer’s row of one-on-one players, and Poppovich finds creative ways to get them isolated against single coverage while on the move.
Whether it’s running Parker off screens to set him up for open jumpers or putting either him or Ginobili in the pick-and-roll, they are just too quick and crafty to get corralled by one lone defender.
And on the off chance that a team has the individual defenders to stay with the Spurs’ perimeter stars, that opponent still has to deal with Duncan on the block or in the high post.
San Antonio is going to force Golden State to make some incredibly tough decisions defensively tonight, and they will have to happen in the matter of seconds. Otherwise, Tony Parker will simply continuously keep calling the same play until the Warriors stop it.
In an odd way, this game may end up being a gift for the Dubs. If they manage to produce a decent defensive showing against a fantastic Spurs team, it might just set them up to make better defensive efforts for the remainder of the season.
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