Spurs-Warriors: What to watch for

April 16, 2012, 4:34 pm
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Programming note: Spurs-Warriors coverage begins tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area Plus!
The Warriors are winding down, and the Spurs are ratchetingup. Thats the way it usually goes at the end of NBA regular seasons and thisone is no different.

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The Warriors have lost 11 of their past 13 games and arelimping toward their seventeenth non-playoff season in the past 18. The Spurshave won 13 of their past 15 games and will be a part of the NBAs postseasonfor the 15th consecutive seasons.For the Warriors, its all about whether they will get tokeep their 2012 first-round draft pick. If they finish with a top-sevenselection, they get to keep it. If they wind up with the No. 8 pick or worse,it goes to Utah.The Spurs, on the other hand, are just a game-and-a-halfbehind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the battle for home-court advantagethroughout the playoffs.Here are some things to watch for during Mondays gamebetween the Spurs and Warriors at Oracle Arena:Who will play and who wont: The Warriorswill be without most of their front-line players, including Andrew Bogut,Stephen Curry and David Lee. They are likely to be without Andris Biedrins(concussion) and Richard Jefferson (right knee).Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has long believed in resting hisplayers during the regular season to keep them healthy for the postseason. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and ManuGinobili are all healthy right now, but dont be surprised if Popovich sits oneor more of them. Mondays game begins a stretch of three games in a row for theSpurs.Tylers finish: With seven games remaining,its important that rookie Jeremy Tyler finishes strong and starts to buildsomething for next season. Tyler had been giving the Warriors some consistencybefore a recent stretch derailed his progress.In the past four games, Tyler is shooting just 31.8 percentand has turned the ball over five times and had three assists. He also has just12 rebounds in his past 70 minutes.It wont be easy for Tyler, assuming hes playing against aSpurs frontline that includes Duncan.Nates game: When point guard NateRobinson plays well, hes capable of helping the Warriors hang around againstany opponent. When Robinson doesnt play well and hes playing legitimateminutes he can really hurt the Warriors chances in terms of winning andlosing.Robinson played very well in a loss to the Spurs earlierthis season, one in which he scored 28 points and Golden State had a latelead.Lets see if Robinson can put another nice game togetheragainst San Antonio.

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