With the Warriors still missing all of their true centers and the San Antonio Spurs just down to one, it'll be another fast-paced, small-ball game when the two teams meet Monday night in San Antonio.
In the Warriors' previous mini-series against the Dallas Mavericks, Kelly Oubre Jr. said he likes playing in small-ball lineups. One night, it led to a career-high 40 points in the first game against Dallas. But he had another dip on production in the following game.
Oubre is having an up-and-down season, but, when he plays well there's a clear correlation to the Warriors winning. He doesn't need to score big -- 15 points per game would suffice. He says when he's having a good night it's because he isn't over-thinking his game and is in a flow. He needs to find that again, especially while the Warriors continue to play small.
His importance against the Spurs goes beyond offense. Matched up against DeMar DeRozan, Oubre will need to have an impact on defense as well.
Without LaMarcus Alridge, Jakob Poeltl and Lonnie Walker, DeRozan will have to carry a heavy load for the Spurs. Averaging 20.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists, and coming off two 30-point performances against the Timberwolves and Rockets, paving the way for the Spurs is nothing new to DeRozan.
The Warriors did a good job on DeRozan when the two teams faced in January, holding him to 15 points in 25 minutes. But on Monday, expect him to be on the court for longer and have the ball in his hands more.