Feb 22, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors power forward Carl Landry (7) celebrates with point guard Jarrett Jack (2) after the play against the San Antonio Spurs during the first quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: San Antonio Spurs (51-16) vs Golden State Warriors (39-30)

Tonight life without Tony continues as the Golden State Warriors roll into town behind their sharp shooting guard Stephen Curry.  This is San Antonio’s first game since picking up a six point victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 16th.

The last time these two teams met was back on February 22nd in Golden State where the Warriors won by six, 107 to 101.  In that game it was not the scoring of Stephen Curry that took headlines, but it was of back-up guard Jarrett Jack whom came off of the bench to torch San Antonio for 30.

We as Spurs fans have sat back and watched Manu Ginobili, play…….not so good, on the offensive end.  This will be a good game for Ginobili to break out of his offensive slump.

Ginobili does not need to be the only help that we need off of the bench.  Against the Warriors back on February 22nd, Ginobili was the only player off of the bench that scored into double figures, finishing with 18.  After Ginobili, only two others scored, they finished with two each.

Here are the match-ups for tonights game and who has the edge.

Match-Ups and Who Has The Edge

Point Guards
Cory Joseph vs Stephen Curry

On paper the advantage is clear, Stephen Curry definitely has the edge in this match-up.  He is a scorer.  Earlier this year he put on a one man show in the Garden as he dropped 54 points on the Knicks.  He did not need that game though to prove how great of a shooter he is now and how far this kid can go in the league.  Cory Joseph as we all know is not a scoring point guard.  He is no Tony Parker.  He is going to have his hands full against Curry and really needs to make sure he does not lose him on screens as Golden State will do a large amount of to free up their shooter.  

EDGE:  Stephen Curry

Shooting Guards
Danny Green vs Klay Thompson

These two are up and down scorers.  One game they can go nuts and drop 20+ and the next 6.  I look for this to be one of the intriguing match-ups of the night.  Green can’t lay off of Thompson and help out on Curry.  Curry does a really good job of finding his teammates as well and Thompson is usually the one he looks for.  Thompson can put it in the whole as I stated.  In the last meeting Green had 20 and Thompson finished with 10.  Based on these two up and downs on the offensive end I would have to say they are pretty even.

EDGE:  Even

Small Forwards
Kawhi Leonard vs Harrison Barnes

Feb 22, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) fouls Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee (10) on the shot during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeats the San Antonio Spurs 107-101 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kawhi has been playing out of his mind lately and continues to step up on the defensive and offensive end with Tony Parker being out with his injury.  Leonard has been working on his jumper and has proven that he can hit it, at times.  Leonard is a slasher and has proven that he can finish at the rim.  Harrison Barnes is a young player and still has a lot of potential in this league.

EDGE:  Kawhi Leonard

Power Forward
Tim Duncan vs David Lee

TD has been playing lights out and looks like the Duncan of old.  Over the last two games, Duncan has put up points of 30 and 28 while grabbing 12 and 19 rebounds as well.  The passion is there.  Duncan wants another ring, I can see it.  This time last year he looked tired, we all looked tired.  This time, he looks refreshed, his legs are under him and he is all over the floor.  Dave Lee is the bruiser for the Warriors.  He will have his hands full with the future Hall of Famer.

EDGE:  Tim Duncan

Center
Tiago Splitter vs Andre Bogut

The two big men will battle it out down low.  Bogut did not play in the February 22nd game, he was out with an injury.  Splitter had 10 points and 5 rebounds in 25 minutes.  He and Bogut will be battling for rebounds down low.  Bogut is a decent rebounder but not much of a scorer.

EDGE:  Even

Bench

As I stated earlier, Jarret Jack completely dismantled us in the last game.  He outscored our bench as he poured in 30 points to our 22.  As a team, the Warriors finished with 46 bench points.  This is an area that the Spurs usually thrive in.  Against the Cleveland Cavaliers our bench scored 40 in a game that should not of been close, in my eyes, possibly in others.  That output helped us propel over a young Cleveland squad.

EDGE: San Antonio

Overall

This game will be an up and down battle with a lot of scoring that can go down.  One of the main things that the San Antonio Spurs need to do is stop Stephen Curry.  Easier said than done right?  Curry moves really well off the ball.  The Warriors do a good job setting screens for him, San Antonio has to fight around those screens and make him feel uncomfortable all night.  It all starts with Curry. If he starts off sluggish, so will the team.  They feed off of him.

Another area that San Antonio needs to do a better job in is taking care of the ball.  Against the Cavaliers we had 18 turnovers as a team and this was one of the areas that helped them in keeping the game as close as it was.  If we take care of the ball, make crisp, sharp passes, we will limit ourselves to helping the Warriors get out on the break.  They are a young team, they are quick.  We can’t give them the easy road to victory.

Game Information

When:  March 20, 2013
Where:   AT&T Center, 7:30 PM (Spurs Time)
 TV:  FSSW    Radio:  1200 WOAI

For perspective on the Golden State Warriors check out Blue Man Hoop.

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