- Tip Off: 5:30 PM PT
- Television: CSN-BA
San Antonio Spurs Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 107.3 (4th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 98.7 (3rd in NBA)
- Points: Tony Parker (injured), 21.0 PPG
- Rebounds: Tim Duncan, 9.8 RPG
- Assists: Tony Parker (injured), 7.6 APG
- Steals: Kawhi Leonard, 1.7 SPG
- Blocks: Tim Duncan, 2.7 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Tiago Splitter, 58.4% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Danny Green, 43.9% 3PT FG
Scope the Opposition: 48 Minutes of Hell.
Preview: The San Antonio Spurs (51-16) are the proud owners of the second best record in the league and have won seven of their last 10 games.
They will be hosting the Golden State Warriors (39-30) tonight at the AT&T Center in what should be a great game. The last time these two teams faced off, the Dubs were victorious at Oracle Arena in overtime thanks in large part to monster performances by David Lee and Jarrett Jack.
Lee was a beast on the boards and in the pick-and-roll. His final tally by night’s end was 25 points and 22 rebounds.
Jack on the other hand was a scoring demon with his mid-range jumper. He scored 30 points on 11-for-22 shooting, which allowed him to attract some attention and dish out 10 assists.
Golden State put up a lot of fireworks in that contest and attacked San Antonio in a couple of key areas. Although the Dubs’ perimeter shooting was less than stellar, Stephen Curry and Jack ran pick-and-rolls and post ups seemingly every trip down the court.
The Spurs kept honoring the Warriors shooters and thus allowed Mark Jackson’s group to get in the paint for scores or fouls.
On the other side of the spectrum, one should expect Greg Popovich to replicate the game plan used on February 22nd at Oracle Arena.
The Spurs ran a lot of two-man game pick-and-rolls on one side of the floor and camped out their shooters on the opposite end of the court. This afforded Tony Parker with a lot of driving lanes and also freed up his shooters.
Although Parker is missing time nursing an injury, some of these plays will still get run given that they still free up shooters and also occasionally isolate Tim Duncan.
It’s worth noting that the Big Fundamental had an uncharacteristically poor shooting night against the Warriors in their last encounter. He missed a couple of easy shots down in the paint.
If Golden State plans on defeating San Antonio on the road tonight, an effort superior to the one given on February 22nd will undoubtedly be required.
The Spurs will run a lot of motion plays involving hand offs and off-ball screens that will force defenders into making split second decisions. One missed rotation and this well-oiled machine produces a high percentage look.
The second unit is particularly lethal because it involves Manu Ginobili running the offense with four shooters surrounding him. He will go into isolations, curls and pick-and-rolls to punish the Warriors tonight.
But more importantly, he is going to attack Harrison Barnes repeatedly when matched up against him.
On February 22nd, the Spurs repeatedly ran Barnes through screens both on and off the ball with the intent in mind of forcing him into judgment calls. Late in the game, he got stuck defending Tiago Splitter who promptly posted him up and scored.
At the end of regulation, Barnes was defending Ginobili and was once again put into a situation where he had to make a tough split second decision. With the Spurs trailing by two points and just about seven seconds left, San Antonio inbounded the ball to Tim Duncan at the high post.
The Argentine had two options from the top off the floor: take the hand off from Duncan going to his right and launch a potential game-winning 3-point shot or fake the hand off and cut to the hoop for an easy catch and finish.
Barnes played Ginobili for the hand off and the left-handed guard simply ran to the basket where Duncan fed him for the tying basket.
Without knowledge of Golden State’s scheme at the time, speculating on what Barnes should have done is a bit difficult. Nonetheless, it seems as though the former Tar Heel would have been better served allowing the hand off.
With Ginobili going to his right, it would have made a 3-point shot a slightly difficult attempt. Also, the player defending Duncan would probably have jumped out to double Ginobili.
These are but a few of the decisions the rookie was faced with the last time he saw the Spurs.
Every bit of his concentration as well as that of his teammates will be needed tonight if the Dubs plan on upsetting the top team in the Western Conference.
Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at JM.Poulard@Warriorsworld.net.