Inside the Scope of Game 3: San Antonio Spurs x Golden State Warriors
- Tip Of: 7:30 PM PT
- Television: ESPN, SNET1 (Canada)
San Antonio Spurs Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 108.6 (2nd in NBA playoffs)
- Defensive Efficiency: 96.9 (tied for 3rd in NBA playoffs)
Scope the Opposition: 48 Minutes of Hell.
Preview: The Golden State Warriors are in the proverbial driver’s seat. With their victory in Game 2 on the road over the San Antonio Spurs, they earned themselves a series split with the next two contests at Oracle Arena.
What may be puzzling for most fans outside of the Bay Area — author included — is the notion that Golden State has been the better team through two games.
The Dubs have been blowing out the Spurs early, only to find themselves struggle in the final period as the score tightens. San Antonio has simply executed far better down the stretch than Golden State.
But on the other end, there is a reason Mark Jackson’s troops have consistently managed double-digit leads in the first two games of the Western Conference Semifinals.
This might not be readily apparent to all, but the 2012-13 Warriors are what many always hoped the Phoenix Suns would become with Steve Nash and Amar’e Stoudemire in their heyday.
The Warriors are getting great guard play and stellar perimeter shooting as evidenced by their 40.7 percent 3-point conversion mark in the playoffs. The big wildcard though: defense.
Klay Thompson has played superb individual defense so far in the postseason. Jackson has called upon him to defend Ty Lawson and Tony Parker in consecutive rounds and he’s been up the to task.
The sharpshooter has contested Parker’s jumpers whenever possible, although that’s been difficult in this series because of the Warriors’ pick-and-roll coverage. Andrew Bogut typically retreats to the paint and concedes the Parker jumper around the elbows.
Where Golden State has really done damage is with the combination of both Bogut and Thompson at the rim. Indeed, Golden State’s starting shooting guard keeps funneling the Frenchman towards his defensive anchor where Parker has struggled converting at the basket.
During the regular season, the Spurs’ leading scorer converted 64.2 percent of his shots in the restricted area. However, that figure is down to 47.1 percent in the two playoff games against the Warriors according to NBA.com’s advanced stats tool.
The interior resistance combined with the misses from downtown partly explains why the Warriors are holding the Spurs to 104.3 points per 100 possessions. This is the same San Antonio team that produced 111 points per 100 possessions in their four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Warriors’ offense is getting much of the publicity so far in the postseason, but the effort on the other side of the ball has helped widen the scoring differential in both series.
The defense hasn’t been great, but anything between average and above average might suffice with an offense that consistently puts points on the board against their opponents.
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