The San Antonio Spurs narrowly fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an entertaining matchup between two of the youngest franchises in the NBA on Thursday. While the good guys have allowed consecutive 40-pieces to Nikola Jokic and Anthony Edwards, they will have a shot to foil that streak against the shorthanded Golden State Warriors.
The Silver and Black welcome head coach Steve Kerr and company to the AT&T Center for their final home game of the regular season, but a couple of notable names will be on the sidelines for this game. That said, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and Jordan Poole are a formidable trio capable of lighting up defenses when they get on the same page.
San Antonio Spurs (34-46) vs. Golden State Warriors (51-29)
April 9, 2022 | 7:30 PM CT
Watch: NBA TV | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)
DraftKings Odds: Spurs +6.5, O/U 220
Spurs Injuries: Doug McDermott (Out — Ankle), Keldon Johnson (Out — Knee), Dejounte Murray (Out — Competition Reconditioning), Jakob Poeltl (Out — Back), Devin Vassell (Out — Heel), Romeo Langford (Questionable — Hamstring)
Warriors Injuries: James Wiseman (Out — Knee) Stephen Curry (Out — Foot), Klay Thompson (Out — Achilles)
What To Watch For
- The Spurs have officially secured a spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament with two games left on their schedule. Although they have a slim chance at earning homecourt advantage for their single-elimination game against the Pelicans, San Antonio is resting the bulk of their starters to enter their postseason matchup as healthy as possible. As a result, Tre Jones, Lonnie Walker IV, Josh Richardson, Zach Collins, Keita Bates-Diop, Josh Primo, and Jock Landale will receive more minutes than usual. Spurs fans might even have an opportunity to watch Romeo Langford, Devontae Cacok, Joe Wieskamp, D.J. Stewart, and Robert Woodard II suit up for an extended period. This assortment of second, third, and fourth-stringers is far from an ideal rotation against a potential championship contender. But head coach Gregg Popovich could use this contest to measure the talent at the end of the roster and decide who might be worth keeping around for next season.
- Tre Jones has continued his phenomenal showing as the de facto starting point guard with Dejounte Murray out of commission. The 22-year-old has averaged 13.8 points, 4.8 boards, and 8.5 assists on strong .538/.400/.786 shooting spits in his last four games. Most impressive is how well he takes care of the basketball for such a young player. Jones has accumulated 34 assists to two turnovers in 130 minutes since the calendar flipped to April, which is the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the NBA over that stretch. He won’t have a familiar supporting cast at his disposal on Saturday, and this game could be a significant test for the sophomore facilitator. Who knows when Tre will have this much freedom and time with the rock in his hands, so he might as well try scoring all around the hardwood.
- Jordan Poole has quickly become one of the most aesthetically pleasing players in the NBA over the last couple of seasons. Between his dynamic dribble package, audacious stepbacks, and creative finishes in the paint, the 22-year-old swingman almost always leaves basketball fans at a loss for words when he scores. The Michigan alumnus has raised his per-game numbers across the board this season, averaging 18.4 points, 3.4 boards, and 3.9 assists on .454/.368/.920 shooting splits. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are the original Splash Brothers though it looks like they have added another sibling to their family of sharpshooters with Poole. Jordan cooked the Spurs for 31 points and guided the shorthanded Warriors to a massive comeback victory in the last meeting between these franchises, so San Antonio should prioritize holding him in check.