Scouting the Warriors: Much Left in ‘Em?

By Joe Buettner

Offensive rating: Spurs – 109.4 (2nd), Warriors – 106.1 (11th)Defensive rating: Spurs – 103.4 (12th), Warriors – 109.3 (27th)Pace: Spurs – 92.4 (8th), Warriors – 92.2 (10th)Time: 9:30 p.mTV: FSNSWRadio: WOAI-AM 1200, KCOR-AM 1350

The current state of affairs in Golden State isn’t great. The team is nowhere near full strength, and running low on gas as the season draws to a close. So will the Warriors be a threat to the Spurs, or will Popovich and Co. cruise to a third straight victory on their first night of a back-to-back-to-back?

APRIL. 11, 2011; Portland, OR, USA; Golden State Warriors small forward Dominic McGuire (5) dunks the ball on Portland Trail Blazers small forward Luke Babbitt (8) during the first quarter at the Rose Garden. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-US PRESSWIRE

Three things to watch

Attack. Attack. Attack. The Warriors have never been a defensive minded team, and Mark Jackson’s 2012 Warriors are no different. They’re one of the worst rebounding teams in the league, and rely on outscoring their opponent to win games. Even if San Antonio can duplicate their performance from Saturday night, they’ll need to shoot the ball well for all four quarters. They can not afford to sleepwalk at any point, because of the Warriors’ uptempo offense.

Protect the perimeter. San Antonio’s been slacking from beyond the arc. However, the Warriors have been thriving. With the Spurs’ recent struggles, Golden State has taken over the top spot as best three-point shooting team. San Antonio has to limit the Warriors from raining trey’s Monday. With Stephen Curry and David Lee out of the picture, San Antonio has to disrupt sharp-shooter Klay Thompson, and avoid Nate Robinson or Brandon Rush from pouring in the points off the bench. It will be vital they get as many stops, but will the Warriors even bother?

Anything left in the tank? Life out in the Bay is not so great now for Golden State. Stephen Curry and David Lee’s seasons are over, and Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson are day-to-day with injuries of their own. The Warriors are currently on a four-game losing streak and 2-8 in their last ten, and one question remains for Mark Jackson: why try? Monday night, Golden State can show they have some self-respect by giving it their all against San Antonio or they can tank and hope to get a high draft pick. At this point, I’d take the draft pick if I’m Golden State. Playoffs are out of the question, so why fight a steep uphill battle against one of the West’s best?

Final verdict. Spurs by 15. With a day off, San Antonio should be able to easily take care of the wounded Warriors. They may have a few nice shooters, but this is a team San Antonio seems to never struggle with at home or at Oracle Arena. While the second unit could be seeing a lot of action, the Spurs JV shouldn’t have a problem putting away Golden State.