San Antonio currently sits as one of the top teams in the West and are looking to continue their dominance against the Rockets and Pistons this week.
Wednesday, 9 November 2016 at 09:30 PM ET Home
D’Antoni and Harden are a match made in NBA offense heaven. Although we are in the infancy of the NBA season, Harden has been an absolute monster averaging 32 PPG and 12.4 assists per game. With Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon surrounding him, Houston currently sits in the top five of points per game as all of them provide elite shooting at the three-point arc with a 40% clip. If shots aren’t falling, Clint Capela is on the floor catching lobs, and Harden will drive to the paint to collect his free points. This team is an offensive monster, but on the defensive end, a different story appears as they sit in the bottom 10 of team defense letting in 107.5 PPG. The Spurs sit top three in team defense although their offense is middle of the road as they sit 13th overall. San Antonio will have a difficult time guarding James Harden as the guard positions are the weakest on the roster. Popovich may try switching Kawhi onto Harden as he has done in the past, but the Spurs will need some significant perimeter defense to mitigate the Houston Rockets’ offense. With Danny Green still sidelines by injury, the Rockets will likely get more looks than they would with a healthy Spurs roster. The Spurs are looking for a win at home, and it will be dictated by the defense for the better part of the night.
Friday, 11 November 2016 at 08:30 PM ET Home
The Pistons have yet to see Reggie Jackson back on the floor, but they have been holding their own over the start of the season. Andre Drummond is still a beast on boards currently averaging 14.7 a game along with 14 PPG on 45% shooting and shows little signs of slowing down so far. The Pistons’ schedule has been relatively weak thus far, as the Toronto Raptors are the only team that Detroit has played that will appear in the playoffs. San Antonio is no different, and the Pistons may see troubles without their PG Reggie Jackson. Ish Smith is a solid player but doesn’t provide the offensive firepower needed to compete against most guards in the league. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been providing a majority of the offense from the guard spot, but teams are catching onto the strategy and he is getting challenged on most looks. Kawhi will likely be placed on KCP to mitigate some of the perimeter offense, while Dedmon will likely play more minutes to slow down Drummond on the glass. As long as San Antonio manages to keep the rebounding to a minimum while Reggie Jackson is still out, San Antonio should escape with a W.
Saturday, 12 November 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Away
San Antonio faces Houston again later in the week, this time in Houston. Much of what happens this game will be dictated by the results of the previous game at San Antonio. I expect more of Harden getting to the line this game than the previous game, as I expect the Spurs to shut down the perimeter options Houston has on the floor. Harden will likely get the Spurs’ big men in foul trouble as a result and will open up his options with Capela catching more lobs this time around. Hopefully Danny Green will return for this game to aid the Spurs, but since the team is traveling, it will be unlikely.