Golden State Warriors: 5 Keys to Beating the San Antonio Spurs

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Klay Thompson’s Defense

May 8, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) celebrates after his team

Klay Thompson played the game of his life on Wednesday, hitting eight three-pointers en route to a 34-point, 14-rebound performance that spurred the Warriors to a must-win victory over the Spurs.

He also held Tony Parker to 20 points and three assists on just 7-of-17 shooting.

Prior to Game 1, I had expected Parker to carve up the Warriors’ defense fairly easily – he averaged 21.5 points on .472 shooting with 5.5 assists in two games against the Warriors this year. However, those numbers are heavily weighted by his performance when Thompson sits.

Thompson and Parker shared the court for 72 minutes during the regular season, during which time Parker shot only 42 percent from the field (11 points below his season average), according to Furthermore, he also averaged fewer points, assists and free throws on a per-36 minute basis than his normal output.

Thompson’s length and quickness creates difficulties for Tony Parker from mid-range, which is normally his bread and butter. This forces him to go into the restricted area, where the defensive combination of Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli has made the Spurs uncharacteristically inefficient.