Preview: Spurs at Warriors 12-19-2013

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Close isn't enough - time for Dubs to beat the Spurs.

Golden State Warriors (14-12) vs. San Antonio Spurs (20-5)

Arena: ROARACLE -- Oakland, CA

Tip: 7:30 PM

TV: NBA on TNT // Radio: KNBR 680

Buddy Blog: Pounding the Rock

Once again, the Warriors go against the Spurs. This time, the Dubs have Andre Iguodalaback. This time, Stephen Curry is healthy and has been on fire for the last 10 games - second in per-game scoring, third in per-game assists, and tied for eighth in per-game steals. This time, the Spurs are on a back-to-back. This time, the Spurs are without Tony Parker. Is all that enough to make a difference?

Perhaps. The Spurs are still the Spurs, even though the Lakers aren't the Lakers, and theCeltics aren't the Celtics. Parker has been in early-season form - for him, that means he's nowhere near the most productive player on the team right now. (Tiago Splitter has been the most efficient player for them so far this year, going by WS48.)

The return of @andre has not yet coincided with Klay Thompson breaking out of his slump. Or perhaps our standards are too high - either way, I expect Klay to shoot much better with Iguodala back. What his return has shown us is that while Harrison Barnes is a competent player right now he's nowhere near the level that the real stars are, notwithstanding that Barnes is still probably a top-15 small forward. While the difference is most striking on the defensive end, @andre's offensive spacing and attack strategies are brilliant, and fast. Sometime experience matters, but it's too early to know (still) if Barnes average-ish decision making speed will ever improve.

I'm expecting the iso's to continue to some degree, even with the restored lineup. The strategy here seems to be to increase the Warriors free-throw attempts, but fouls will actually have to be called on Lee for that to improve. (Curry has done so - his numbers for FTA and FTM are both top-10 over the last 10 games.)

So - Front line, an edge for the Spurs. Wings, a tossup. Point, edge to the Warriors. I give the Dubs the win, because no one can keep up with Curry at the moment.

Predictions

  • Warriors by 3
  • Curry- 25/5/10/4
  • Timmy - 14 and 12
  • Klay - 17 pts on 12 shots

Start4

If you're playing in the group, who's your big gun for the night? Play here

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