The Morning Tip-Off

The Morning Tip-Off is where we scour the internet, to bring you all the San Antonio Spurs news from different outlets, all on one page. Here are your links to start your Cinco de Mayo!

Sick Duncan skips practiceSpurs Nation

Spurs forward Tim Duncan was sent home from practice Saturday morning with a stomach bug, coach Gregg Popovich said.

The illness is not expected to affect the All-Star’s availability for the start of the Western Conference semifinal series against Golden State that opens Monday.

“He’ll be fine,” Popovich said.

Stopping Steph: It’s a tall taskSpurs Nation

Scouts aren’t alone in befuddlement. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich stood, slack-jawed, as Curry blitzed his team with six 3-pointers, 22 points, two assists and five rebounds in the second half of the Warriors’ 116-106 victory at Oracle Arena on April 15.

“I was almost in a mesmerized state watching Curry shoot,” he said.

Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs: Western Conference Semis PreviewBleacher Report

Golden State made it past the Nuggets in large part because George Karl’s squad lacked a reliable perimeter shooter, had terrible spacing and couldn’t stay organized on defense.

Those were key deficiencies that the Warriors exploited.

San Antonio, though, has plenty of shooters, a precision offense and a ridiculously disciplined defense. What they don’t have is a glaring weakness for Golden State to attack.

And it’s telling that throughout all of this analysis, Duncan’s name has only come up tangentially. When the greatest power forward of all time is an afterthought, it’s a pretty good sign that the Spurs are in excellent shape.

Video: Warriors’ Curry says Tony Parker least favorite to play againstProject Spurs

One of the better matchups to watch will be at point guard as Tony Parker and Stephen Curry will face off and hope they will be able to control the tempo for their respective team in order to advance to the West Finals.

Speaking with Grantland, Curry opened up on which player is the toughest to face and mentioned Parker alongside Russell Westbrook. From describing TP as a “mouse” scurrying all over the court on the screen-and-roll to saying Parker lives in the paint, Curry describes why Tony is just tough to face.

What to expect from Spurs vs. WarriorsPounding the Rock

The Warriors haven’t won in San Antonio in 19 years, so home court advantage could be a huge factor.

Golden State’s biggest strength seems to be their backcourt, which features deadly shooters in Curry and Thompson, and a solid third guard in Jack. But the Spurs might even have the upper hand there too, since Parker and Ginobili, perhaps the best backcourt of the last 15 years, seem to be healthy and Danny Green can provide some defense and shooting when called upon. Similarly, Barnes and Draymond Green make a solid SF combo but Kawhi Leonard is at the very least on their level.

Both teams will have important bigs hampered by injuries, but simply put — the Spurs have Duncan and the Dubs don’t. Bogut is a fantastic defensive player and Landry is productive and tough but the Spurs got very solid performances from DeJuan Blair and Matt Bonner against a great Lakers front court. What might tip the scale is who is healthier between Lee and Splitter.

NBA playoffs 2013: San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors previewSports Illustrated

San Antonio’s starting lineup outscored Golden State by 20 points per 100 possessions in their regular-season series, according to NBA.com. The Spurs accomplished the feat largely by holding the Warriors to 17.3 points under their regular-season scoring efficiency. San Antonio’s level of preparation and execution were predictably impressive, as the Spurs’ top defenders read Golden State’s cuts, preempted off-ball screens and applied just enough perimeter pressure to chase shooters like Curry and Thompson inside the three-point arc and into the help. The Warriors attempted just 13.8 three-pointers per 48 minutes (compared with 19.9 on average this season) against the Spurs’ primary lineup and converted only 30.3 percent. San Antonio may not defend the three-point line at an elite level overall, but the Spurs’ best (and most-used) lineups have been able to take away that option from the Warriors pretty consistently this season.

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