Golden State (52-13) at San Antonio (50-14)
When: Saturday, March 11th 2017
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Time: 8:35 ET | TV: ABC
The two best teams square off in a nationally televised game on Saturday night, but the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs will look anything but, when they take the court. MVP-candidate Kawhi Leonard will not play for the Spurs after getting an elbow to the head on Thursday night and has been put into the concussion protocol. The Spurs nine-game winning streak was snapped in Thursday’s 102-92 loss at Oklahoma City, but they are just 1.5 games behind Golden State for the top spot in the Western Conference race. Power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who rested on Wednesday, should be the go-to guy in the middle against the Warriors tonight. Aldridge is coming off a 17-point effort against the Thunder and is averaging 17.3 points per game on the season. Point guard Tony Parker (back) is questionable for the game and his absence would create plenty of playing time for productive reserve Patty Mills (9.6 points). Leonard scored 35 points as the Spurs rolled to a 129-100 road victory over the Warriors in the season opener for both teams back in October.
The struggling Warriors, who are still without forward Kevin Durant, has decided to rest their stars for tonight’s contest because of a 3 a.m. (CT) arrival time and the amount of minutes being played, including last night. “It’s my call,” Kerr told reporters, “and it is the right thing to do in terms of the way the season is playing out and the way the minutes have gone and KD’s injury.” Golden State dropped a 103-102 decision at Minnesota on Friday night – their fourth setback in the last six games. All-Star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, All-Star power forward Draymond Green and reserve swingman Andre Iguodala will not play against San Antonio. Curry could really benefit from the night off after going 10-of-27 shooting (1-of-8 from 3-point range) and missing a game-winning 18-foot attempt in the final seconds against Minnesota. He’s also in one of the worst shooting slumps of his career, hitting just 18-of-76 from 3-point range over the past seven games. Point guard Shaun Livingston was rested against Minnesota and figures to play a lot of minutes against the Spurs.
There’s just too many stars sitting for Golden State for this game to be close – even with Leonard out for the Spurs. This shouldn’t be close.
Pick: Spurs -11
HEAD TO HEAD
Trends courtesy of SportsOptions.com – an UltimateCapper.com partner