- Tip Off: 7:30 PM PT
- Television: ESPN, SNET1 (Canada)
San Antonio Spurs Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 107.5 (2nd in NBA playoffs)
- Defensive Efficiency: 97.2 (5th in NBA playoffs)
Scope the Opposition: 48 Minutes of Hell.
Preview: This installment of the Golden State Warriors is now sailing in uncharted waters. They will face an elimination game at Oracle Arena when they host the San Antonio Spurs in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals tonight.
Gregg Popovich and company shellacked the Dubs in Game 5 in San Antonio. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were rendered ineffective thanks in large part to a great defensive effort by the Spurs.
They challenged the Warriors’ starting backcourt on every possession. Popovich’s defensive game plan forced Curry and Thompson into putting the ball on the floor to gain any type of separation.
Consequently, the Splash Brothers were often surrounded and corralled by multiple defenders.
Further exacerbating matters for the Warriors, the Spurs’ coaching staff refused to let Curry off the hook. His mobility was clearly affected by his injured ankle and San Antonio made him chase Danny Green through a plethora of screens.
Curry seemed to wear down as the game went on and kept losing his primary assignment. If Curry’s movements are hampered once again, Mark Jackson must consider sitting his leading scorer.
Obviously, if Curry is making shots and facilitating the offense, the Warriors can live with that even if he is somewhat physically compromised. However, if the Davidson product submits a performance identical to what was witnessed in Game 5, the Dubs’ star must sit.
It’s an incredibly tough call, but it could be the difference between keeping the contest close and stealing it at the end or simply getting blown out at home.
It’s worth noting Andrew Bogut missed some time in Game 5 as well due to injury. The Aussie only played a mere 19 minutes and collected four rebounds and four fouls for his troubles.
The Warriors will undoubtedly need him for a few more minutes. Otherwise, Jackson will have to turn to Carl Landry, Festus Ezeli and Andris Biedrins. Perhaps the Warriors can get by for a few minor stretches with that trio, but for the entirety of the game it’s a hurdle the Warriors might not overcome.
With that said, the Warriors have an emerging player in Harrison Barnes. His confidence is at an all-time high. The former Tar Heel has looked incredibly comfortable in the past two games of the series against the Spurs.
He has taken the shots he wants and more specifically in Game 5 he picked his spots masterfully. He got himself to the free throw line, shook free from his defender for good mid-range jumpers and spaced the floor well.
If Curry can give them anything tonight and Barnes replicates his previous back-to-back outings, there is a big chance the Western Conference semifinals gets extended to a decisive Game 7.
However, this is contingent on their defense showing up. The Spurs converted 51.9 percent of their field goals in Game 5 and also made 10-of-21 shots from 3-point range. The Warriors were routinely a step slow — Curry was partly to blame here – and it cost them.
This has been arguably the best second round series of the 2013 playoffs and it almost seems like a shame that it’s scheduled to soon end.
Questions or comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can contact me by email at [email protected].