After saying late Wednesday afternoon there would be no Thursday morning shootaround, Steve Kerr needed only five or six hours to reconsider.
He was in San Antonio, where the Warriors would face Gregg Popovich’s Spurs, so Kerr changed his mind and called for a morning warmup at AT&T Center, where the teams meet Thursday night.
The Warriors (5-3) want to sustain the intensity displayed Monday night in their most impressive performance this season, a 141-113 win over the Clippers in LA.
The Spurs (4-3) opened the season with four consecutive wins but are coming off three straight losses, all on the road.
Warriors by 8
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Draymond Green vs. LaMarcus Aldridge: Down two starters, the Spurs likely won’t go any further than Aldridge takes them. He has had mixed results against Green, who is coming off a strong game three nights ago, when he silenced Clippers star Blake Griffin. Green will be the leader in a phalanx of defenders paying attention to Aldridge, whose 23.6 points per game leads the Spurs and ranks 15th in the NBA.
Warriors: No injuries listed. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.
Spurs: C Joffrey Lauvergne (R ankle sprain), F Kawhi Leonard (R quadriceps tendinopathy) and G Tony Parker (L quadriceps tendon surgery) are listed as out.
The Warriors last season lost two of three regular-season games but subsequently swept San Antonio in the conference finals. The Warriors lost 31 of 36 to the Spurs prior to 2014-15 but are 5-5 against them since coach Kerr arrived.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
THE PACE GAME: The Warriors want to play fast; they currently rank sixth in pace and is one of the reasons they lead and league in scoring at 121.0 points per game. The Spurs prefer to be more deliberate, ranking 25th in pace and averaging 98.1 points (27th in the NBA) and want to keep the score around that figure.
THE ARC: The Warriors rank second in the league in 3-point field goal percentage, at 39.9. The Spurs, generally among the NBA’s best at defending the arc, rank 17th, allowing teams to shoot 36.0 percent. Kerr likely reminded his team of Popovich’s commitment to limit clean looks from deep, so expect lots of screens and kick outs.
THE GLASS WARS: By starting Pau Gasol and Aldridge, the Spurs have done a terrific job at rebounding (fifth in the league) and an even better job at piling up second-chance points (second). Their 47.5 paint points per game ranks third. The Warriors will have to be vigilant about blocking out, an area where they have been vulnerable.