Fresh off a tough loss against the LA Clippers on Thursday night, where they could not slow down Kawhi Leonard, the San Antonio Spurs are back in action on Friday, taking on the host Golden State Warriors for a rare back-to-back set. LaMarcus Aldridge was held to just five points and five boards by Los Angeles and will be hoping to feast against the vastly undersized Warriors squad. In a year where the Western Conference is absolutely stacked, San Antonio is hoping to extend its playoff streak, which extends beyond the lifespan of several draft picks from the last three years.
Oh, how things have gone from perfect to horrid in such a short time for Golden State. Once upon a time, the Warriors had Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant taking the floor for them. This was seven games (and over four months) ago. Now, Curry has a broken left hand, Klay a torn ACL, and KD, now in Brooklyn, has a ruptured Achilles. You hate to see these injuries, but nobody is feeling sorry for Golden State. After five straight trips to the Finals, they are probably not even going to make the playoffs in 2019-20.
The Spurs are set as 6.5-point favorites in their first trip to the Chase Center. The over/under is set at 225.5.
San Antonio Looks To Keep It Rolling
No matter how many moves the Spurs made in the offseason, their biggest acquisition was going to be Dejounte Murray in his return after missing last season with an ACL tear. He’s averaged 13 points, eight boards, five assists and two steals per game so far. He’s only playing 23 minutes per game as they have a loaded guard rotation with Patty Mills, Derrick White, DeMar DeRozan, Bryn Forbes and Marco Belinelli. But seeing Murray play so well is refreshing, given that they already gave him his big contract extension.
San Antonio is playing the eighth-fastest pace in the game so far, something we are not used to seeing from Gregg Popovich teams. They rank fourth in field-goal percentage, something very telling of the shots they always hope to finish possessions with.
Can The Warriors Be Competitive?
Starting Friday night, people will hardly recognize this Warriors team. Steph may be out several months. Klay is out for the year. KD left. They lost several other key cogs. The trade for D’Angelo Russell may be the only reason not to place this team at the immediate bottom of the West. Draymond Green has lost just about every player from the five Finals teams and is here alone. He is a very impressive talent, but we’ll see how he works with mostly new players, and in a role where he is going to need to score more. Look for Steph’s brother-in-law, Damien Lee, to be a big scorer.
The Warriors are next-to-last in points allowed, while somehow being 11th in points scored. Look for Eric Paschall, Glenn Robinson III and Russell to be the primary scorers, along with Lee, and a little dose of former Boston College Eagle, Ky Bowman. Jordan Poole loves to shoot but has only made 9 of 41 shots.
Spurs Win Big
Sorry, Warriors, and all the fans who have season tickets this season. San Antonio will bounce back from Thursday night’s loss with a win.
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