A 2017 Western Conference Finals rematch occurs today as the 5-3 Golden State Warriors visit the 4-3 San Antonio Spurs (8pm ET Thursday on TNT).
Golden State is easily the best team in the NBA, but it has been lazy on defense and with its ball-handling early on. When the Warriors have really turned it on, they’ve looked unstoppable.
The Spurs are starting to really miss Tony Parker and especially Kawhi Leonard. The two starters haven’t played any games this season and San Antonio has now lost three straight games on the road by a combined 44 points.
Can San Antonio halt its losing streak by heading back home or are the Warriors just too talented? We’ll preview the influencing factors in this NBA matchup before deciding our predictions and picks with the USA internet sports betting sites.
Will Draymond Green Continue His Dominance Over LaMarcus Aldridge?
The Spurs’ Aldridge has had a nice start to the 2017-18 season in Kawhi Leonard’s absence. He has put up 23.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per contest for San Antonio.
However, the five-time All-Star has struggled to play well against the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Green. The Warriors power forward just knows how to shut Aldridge down in the post. LMA has averaged just 17.1 points and 7.3 rebounds with a poor true shooting percentage of 48.3 against Draymond in a Spurs uniform.
San Antonio needs to find ways to get Aldridge involved in the offense other than with post-ups, since Green defends those so well.
Will the Warriors Take Care of the Ball?
This is going to be a key for the Dubs until proven otherwise. They have being incredibly careless with the ball overall this season, turning it over an NBA-high 17.6 times per game. Usually, it’s young, rebuilding teams that are near the top of that list, but the Warriors certainly aren’t that.
The Warriors’ sloppiness has been especially bad in losses. They’ve averaged 27.7 assists and 19.7 turnovers in defeat (1.4 assists per turnover), and 32.8 assists and 16 turnovers in wins (2.1 assists per turnover).
Without Kawhi Leonard’s stifling defense, the Spurs are not a great team at forcing turnovers. The Warriors must take advantage of that by making crisp, smart passes and communicating well with each other on offense.
Can the Cold Spurs Point Guards Start to Find a Rhythm?
In Tony Parker’s absence, the Spurs have relied on Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills as their two point guards. Aside from the first few games of the season for Murray, they’ve been bad.
On the whole, the pair has combined to average 13.3 points and 6.3 assists per game with a terrible true shooting percentage of 33.1 in the past four games. Keep in mind that these two combine to play around 48 minutes, and that’s all the production they’re giving San Antonio.
The Warriors’ Stephen Curry is probably the NBA’s best offensive player, but he can struggle as a one-on-one defender. If Murray and Mills don’t make him work, it could be a long night for the Spurs.
Our Preview’s Warriors @ Spurs Betting Picks & Predictions
The Spurs are just ice cold right now and don’t have two key starters against the most talented team in the NBA. Even though they are at home, the Warriors could probably beat them by at least 20 points if they give their best effort.
- Golden State is favored by 7.5 points, having opened at 6.5pts, with all main betting outlets. The smart money is already going the same way as my prediction. Currently the best value option is to bet on Warriors -7.5pts @ -110 with Bookmaker.
- At home, I do like San Antonio’s chances at dictating their desired pace, which is very slow. The Spurs’ defense is also way ahead of its offense right now, enough to make up for the Warriors’ defensive indifference at the moment. My pick is to take the under 217pts total points @ -115 with Bovada. The other firms have up to a point lower mark.