Spurs at Warriors Give and Go Preview

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After shellacking the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, the San Antonio Spurs hope they got enough rest to face a tough Golden State Warriors team on the second night of a back-to-back.

We did a short preview with Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN TrueHoop Network sites HoopSpeak and Warriors World, to get an update on where GSW is at entering Friday night’s game.

Andrew McNeill, 48 Minutes of Hell: Is this the first time the Warriors will be wearing the jerseys with sleeves?

Ethan Sherwood Strauss, HoopSpeak: Yes, in a real game.

AM: What’s your feeling on them?

ESS: I like the new jerseys, and feel as though the popular sentiment is a bit too critical. What’s wrong with sleeves? What’s wrong with a soccer jersey appearance? Sometimes it seems as though Twitter will rip most anything new. Though the new uniforms might be a bit too snug, I appreciate how ownership is at least trying to give the GSW brand some buzz.

AM: Personally, I don’t like them, I like basketball being played sleeveless, but I don’t have them either. I appreciate people trying new things, even if I don’t agree with it.

ESS: Hater!

AM: I wasn’t a fan of the Spurs’ gray jerseys this season and they’ve definitely grown on me.

ESS: The grays are cool, Andrew. You’re a SXSW guy, you gotta get in with this embracing of innovation.

AM: I’m totally on board with innovation. It just doesn’t always work.

ESS: “Bah humbug, what is this Motion Weak jibber jabber! Throw it to Timmy in the post, every play!”–Old Man McNeill, a few years ago.

AM: *complains about the death of the midrange game*

Now, on to actual basketball. How good is Harrison Barnes at this point? I feel like I havent’ seen enough of him to get a feel for where he stacks up with the league’s small forwards.

ESS: Barnes doesn’t Barnes enough, is how I’d put it. He has these moments where he animates that physical talent, and it ends in a crushing dunk. But then Barnes floats and fails to involve himself for longer stretches. He needs to work on his handle. His dribbling right now is Luol Deng-ish.

AM: I had no idea how athletic Barnes is. Admittedly, I watch very little college basketball, but the dunk on Pek was Blake Griffin-ish, and will inevitably lead to the next Die Hard film.

ESS: Hahah, I can only hope so. I also hope that he improves his handle enough to where it can be a regular sight.

AM: Me too.

With Andrew Bogut back in the lineup (the Warriors are absolutely my second favorite team this season), have there been some growing pains?

ESS: Oh yeah. Just today it was reported that Bogut has back spasms. There’s never a good read on whether or not he’s fully healthy or what he can give them. That’s disrupted the team, some, I believe. I also think that they’ve been giving up a lot of open 3s, and now those shots are finally falling. This is what terrifies me about tonight’s Spurs matchup.

AM: Well, Danny Green is due for an 0-for-6 night if it eases your fears at all.

ESS: Nah, tonight he’s parking himself in the corner and throwing heat. The corner 3 has been a big defensive concern for GSW, which isn’t a good flaw to have against San Antonio.

AM: No, not really. What happened to GSW’s defense in general? I’ve heard about some serious slippage.

ESS: Well, it’s partially strategy. They have no big men who hedge, so they pack the paint and it allows openings on the exterior. There’s also some slippage to be sure, but this is mostly a function of the lack of defensive talent.