Golden State Warriors

Thursday Game Previews: Spurs' rodeo road trip reaches Oakland; Giannis, Bucks host Wizards

Klay Thompson and DeMar DeRozan
(Getty Images)

San Antonio Spurs (32-23) vs Golden State Warriors (37-15)

Where to Watch

Date: Thursday, Feb. 7

Time: 9:00 AM IST

TV: Sony Ten 1

Location: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA

Game Preview

Yes, the Warriors 11-game win streak was snapped on Friday by the Philadelphia 76ers but they bounced back on Sunday with a convincing win over the LeBron-less Los Angeles Lakers.

Despite their rough stretch early in the season (a 4-game losing streak and 5-8 in mid-November), the two-time defending champions have dominated the league's offensive stats - offensive rating (116.3 - 2nd), points per game (118.7 - 1st), FG% (49.0% - 1st), 3P% (38.6% - 3rd), FT% (82.1% - tied 1st), and assists per game (29.3 - 1st).

Despite their win streak in January, their defense seems to have taken a dip in the new year as compared to before that. Before 2019, the Warriors were ranked 13th in defensive rating but after Jan. 1, the two-time champs are ranked 17th in defensive rating.

Since his return from injury, DeMarcus Cousins has seemed a great fit in the Warriors' system. Through seven games, the former All-Star has averaged 14.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists on 43.6% shooting in 22.7 minutes per game.

After a slow start in their first 25 games (11-14), the Spurs have bounced back to a strong sixth seed in the West.

Since Dec. 8, the Spurs won 21 of their 30 games, tied for the third-best winning percentage over this time span with an offensive rating ranked 3rd (115.6) and a defensive rating ranked 7th (108.1) in the league.

Quite often in the NBA, momentum is key but the Spurs began their road trip with a loss in Sacramento. Can they turn things around against the best-of-the-best in the Golden State Warriors in Oakland?

This is San Antonio's second contest of a monster 8-game long road trip.

Game Notes

  • The Warriors have a record of 19-7 at the Oracle Arena, not even in the top 5 home records in the league.
  • Meanwhile, the Spurs have a road record of 10-16.
  • Golden State will be without Damian Jones (Pectoral) for this game.
  • For the Spurs, Dejounte Murray will surely be out for this game. They could also miss three other players in LaMarcus Aldridge (Rest), DeMar DeRozan (Rest), and Derrick White (Heel).

Last Time They Played

Date: Nov. 19, 2018

Score: Warriors 104-92 Spurs

Warriors: Kevin Durant - 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge - 24 points, 18 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks on 62.5% shooting.

Box Score

Washington Wizards (22-31) vs Milwaukee Bucks (39-13)

Where to Watch

Date: Thursday, Feb. 7

Time: 6:30 AM IST

TV: Sony Ten 1

Location: Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee WI

Game Preview

Under their first season under coach Mike Budenholzer, the Milwaukee Bucks have completely transformed themselves from last year.

Their best player Giannis Antetokounmpo is among the league-leading MVP candidates with averages of 26.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 5.9 assists on 57.2% shooting (career-highs). He leads the league in NBA's Player Impact Estimate stat (21.0) and ranks third in ESPN's PER (29.45).

He will also captain Team Giannis in the 2019 All-Star Game in Charlotte in a couple of weeks.

As a team, Budenholzer has made a huge impact on the Bucks. Have a look at the improvements in these key stats:

2017-18 Season 2018-19 Season
Off. Rating 108.8 (10th) 113.2 (4th)
Def. Rating 109.1 (18th) 103.4 (1st)
Rebounds/Game 39.8 (30th) 49.0 (1st)
Assists/Game 23.2 (14th) 26.3 (5th)
3 PM/Game 8.8 (27th) 13.2 (2nd)

Through 51 games, the Bucks either have a winning record or have split the season series with each of the other teams in the top 5 - vs. Toronto Raptors (3-1), vs. Golden State Warriors (1-1), vs. Denver Nuggets (2-0), and vs. Boston Celtics (1-1).

Bradley Beal, who's averaging a career-high 24.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists on 46.9% shooting, was named an All-Star but it's difficult to find anything else positive in the Washington Wizards' season.

Yesterday, it was announced that John Wall would miss approximately 12 months as he tore his Achilles and the team has never had a .500 record or better this season.

This game in Milwaukee begins a stretch where they play five of six on the road.

Their offense ranks them in the middle of the pack at 16th - 109.1 but their 25th ranked defense doesn't help them.

Game Notes

  • The Milwaukee Bucks have the second-best home record in the league at 22-4.
  • The visiting Wizards have a road record of 6-20.
  • For the Bucks, the duo of Donte DiVincenzo (Heel) and Jason Smith (Knee) are said to be game-time decisions.
  • Meanwhile, the Wizards will be without the trio of John Wall, Dwight Howard, and Markieff Morris. The duo of Devin Robinson (Hip) and Troy Brown Jr. (Ankle) are reportedly game-time decisions.

Last Time They Played

Date: Feb. 3, 2019

Score: Bucks 131-115 Wizards

Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo - 37 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists on 50.0% shooting.

Wizards: Otto Porter Jr. - 18 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 assists on 50.0% shooting.

Box Score

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