BY SAM LACHOW
|San Antonio Spurs|
|6-4||Last 10 Games||5-5|
|103.1||Points scored per 100 possessions||107.7|
|105.3||Points allowed per 100 possessions||99.9|
|93.86||Possessions per game||96.37|
|45.0%||Field goal percentage||49.1%|
|Joe Johnson (15.6)||Top Scorer||Tony Parker (18.4)|
Tale of the tape: The Nets have lost 20 of their last 21 games against the Spurs, last beating the Spurs in New Jersey on March 29th, 2010. The Spurs will be without Manu Ginobili, and they’ll be without Tony Parker, who left Wednesday night’s game against the Wizards with lower back tightness.
Projected starting lineup: Patty Mills, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter.
Who They Are: Every single year pundits think the Spurs are going to fade, but they never do. The Spurs big 3 of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili may be older, but with the help of role players like Tiago Splitter, Danny Green, the injured Kawhi Leonard, and a legendary coach in Gregg Popovich, this team is just as good as they were in the mid 2000’s.
Tim Duncan anchors the defense as usual, while the offense runs through point guard Tony Parker. Parker, one of the most underrated players of our generation, was recently selected to his 5th All-Star game. But they’ll be without Parker, replacing him with Patty Mills.
The Spurs are efficient. It sounds simple, but it’s true. They’re constantly moving on offense, always setting screens and picks, leading to easy layups and dunks. On defense, the Spurs switch unlike any other team in the Association, minus the Heat. In order to beat them, it is essential to capitalize on their (few) mistakes.
It’s tough to forget Danny Green’s epic performance in the NBA Finals, but this year has been a different story. Green is shooting just under 41% from the field, and his scoring has dipped to just over 7 points per game.
Green missed 11 games this year due to a broken hand, but in his last game against the Wizards he scored 22 points, including 5-11 from the 3-point line. Though the Nets defense has improved immensely in 2014, the Nets still struggle against good 3-point shooting teams.
With the Spurs’ quick passing and with a healthy Green back in the lineup, the Nets have to make sure that Green doesn’t put on another 3-point clinic like he did last June.
Though the Nets also have their own injury concerns, they will continue their hot 2014 streak and gut out a tough win against the Spurs in the Barclays Center.