After 5 games in a 6 day span, the Warriors, (hopefully) fresh off a two day break, take on the San Antonio Spurs, the number #1 team in the Western Conference according to SB Nation's week 5 power rankings. With arguably one of oldest teams in the NBA, coach Greg Popovich must have given the team the fountain of youth over the summer based on how rejuvenated Manu Ginnobli and Tim Duncan have been playing.
As amazing as the Warriors can be with David Lee in the line-up, tonight's test against one of the best teams in the league will be a challenge and a half. One of the borigest teams to watch in the league has been lighting it up in the scoreboard, averaging 107 points per game for third in the league. The Warriors will have their hands full with sharp shooters in reservers Matt Bonner and James Anderson as well as starters such as Richard Jefferson and Manu Ginobili.
A healthy Ginobili has been a 180 degree difference than last season. Playing at an elite level, Ginobili has improved his averages across the board, with the striking difference in the 6 additional points per game he is scoring this season. Over half his attempts per game are 3-pointers, so expect him and the Spurs to come gunning from tip-off. The Spurs are also one of the best passing teams in the league as well.
The Spurs are so dominant that they only need Tim Duncan to play, on average, 30 minutes a game. His 14 points a game are a career low. But with seasoned backup in Antonio McDyess and the ultra-efficient and space-clearning DeJuan Blair manning the middle, the Spurs have one of the deeper benches in the league.
The Warriors lost the rebounding battle miserably against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Even though they won that game, they will need to control the boards better against a team like the Spurs. Whereas the Warriors could afford a turnover or two (or three or four) against teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and the T-Wolves and still be in the game, it is doubtful that the Spurs will let the Warriors hang that close that long if the turnovers, fouling, and rebounding issues persist.
If that happens, expect to see lots of Jeremy Lin in garbage time, which at least makes garbage time bearable to watch.