I contemplated re-inititating The Warriors Bet for this game. The Warriors are getting +4 at home against the Spurs. They’ve only lost one game against the spread (ATS) this season with David Lee in the lineup. But I’ve decided not to, not against this team, at a moment when they’re in championship form, and Lee is still struggling to get his wind.
A lot has been made of the improved play of Richard Jefferson this season. He’s a lot more comfortable in his role this year, and perhaps more importantly, he’s finally hitting his Bruce Bowen-patented corner threes (shut up, Fitz). 44% this year against 31% last year.
(Will Dorell Wright’s length bother him? Will Dorell Wright the stopper be anywhere near him?)
But if you want the real reason for the Spurs resurgence this season, you need look no further than their full healthy backcourt of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Ginobili has finally been moved into the starting lineup, and he’s having a season for the ages, at age 34. The last I looked, he’s the second ranked player in all of fantasy, behind Chris Paul (To give you an idea, Kobe and Lebron are currently ranked in the 20′s). Parker is also fully healthy for the first time in two seasons, and he’s in a contract year. If the Spurs had Parker and Ginobili in this form last season, they would have crushed the Suns in the playoffs, and made feltbot some bakshish.
Let’s take a look at some stats: The Spurs are 14-2 this season. They have yet to lose a game on the road. They are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games on the road.
They make more threes per game than the Warriors do (8.9 to 7.7). (Someone please ship that stat to Smart and Fitz and Lacob and Lacob Jr.)
They have a point differential this season of 8.3. That is some serious dominance! I haven’t seen a point differential like that– which as you you know, is the single best predictor of championships — since Don Nelson achieved it with the 2003 Mavericks.
The Warriors point differential this season is -4.2. A very interesting, very damning stat for a team that is over .500.
Which leads me to the final reason I’m laying off this game:
Greg Popovich v. Keith Smart.