Here’s everything you’ll need to know heading into Thursday’s matchup between the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.
The Golden State Warriors will travel to face San Antonio for the first of four 2017 Western Conference Finals rematches in the regular season. The Spurs have lost three straight including a 108-94 loss to the Boston Celtics most recently.
Besides LaMarcus Aldridge, who contributes 23.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, San Antonio has struggled to score on a consistent basis. They’re currently ranked 27th in points per game with 98.1. Despite their scoring troubles, the team ranks top five in blocks, turnovers and rebounds.
As for Golden State, they’re coming off of a dominant 141-113 blowout of the Clippers. Stephen Curry scored 31 points in 29 minutes while each of their four All-Stars contributed at least 15 points. They’ve begun to find their rhythm after losing three games to Houston, Memphis and Detroit early in the season.
San Antonio continues to miss their MVP-Candidate in Kawhi Leonard, who has yet to play a game this season. The timetable for return is unclear, but recent reports indicate that he should be back in early-November.
— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) November 2, 2017
The San Antonio backcourt will need to step up against the Splash Brothers to stand a fighting chance. Dejounte Murray has proven that he can perform under pressure and Danny Green has started off his year hot.
Through seven games in his ninth year, Green is averaging a career-high 43.8 percent shooting from behind the arc. He’s also averaging 11.1 points, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks per game. His two-way effort will be vital in slowing the league’s highest scoring team.
For the Spurs, physicality and defense will be their two most important focuses to start the game. Without Leonard or Joffrey Lauvergne to help on the glass, San Antonio will need to fight for every rebound against Golden State’s lengthy frontcourt.
This may be veteran big man Pau Gasol’s most crucial game of the season thus far. He’s taken on a rim-protector role, averaging eight rebounds and 1.7 blocks per contest. If he can use his size and length to defend against Kevin Durant and Draymond Green near the rim, then San Antonio can focus on smothering Golden State’s shooters.
And a double-digit scoring output from Gasol wouldn’t hurt either.
Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs – 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
TV: TNT, NBCSBA, SPORTSNET ONE
Radio: WOAI 1200AM, 95.7 THE GAME
Online Streaming: WatchTNT
- Kawhi Leonard (quad): Out
- Tony Parker (quad): Out
- Joffrey Lauvergne (ankle): Out
In a highly anticipated Western Conference Finals rematch, all eyes will be on the Spurs. Many have suggested that they won’t be as competitive as last year, but this new team will look to create some noise with a victory. Although it will be difficult without Leonard, Gregg Popovich may have some tricks up his sleeve.