Spurs vs. Warriors: Keys To Stopping Golden State's Shooters

Eric BostContributor IIIMay 10, 2013

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 08:  Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors celebrates a three-point shot with Stephen Curry #30 and Jarrett Jack #2 against the San Antonio Spurs during Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center on May 8, 2013 in San Antonio, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

To say that the backcourt for the Golden State Warriors are on fire right now is an understatement.

Except for the second half of Game 1, the young Warrior squad looks like the better team versus the San Antonio Spurs. With Steph Curry and Klay Thompson shooting lights out from beyond the arc, it's really hard not to see them winning this series.

But Greg Popovich is one of the best coaching minds in NBA history. He can make the adjustments his team needs in order to take back control of this series.

So while we wait for the game tonight, here are a few keys for San Antonio in stopping the red hot shooters for Golden State.


Force Harrison Barnes to Beat You

In the last regular season game between these two teams, Matt Bonner started at the small forward position for the Spurs. He sagged back on rookie Harrison Barnes and forced him into taking long-range jump shots.

At this point in his career, Barnes isn't the player to consistently hit jump shots at a high rate. In that game, he went 4-10 from the field and 1-3 from three-point range.

The Spurs need to force the ball out of Curry and Thompson's hands. If that means giving it to an open Barnes, then they need to do it. He's shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc, way down from Thompson or Curry's marks (41.7 percent and 43.1 percent, respectively).

This isn't a strategy for the whole game, but if the Spurs pick and choose when to let Harrison Barnes shoot, it gets the ball out of Steph and Klay's hands. Right now, that has to be the goal for the San Antonio defense.


Create Turnovers

In the postseason, the Warriors have led all teams in turnovers per game, averaging 17.9 giveaways over their eight playoff games, according to CBSSports.com.

In Game 1, the Spurs generated 21 Golden State turnovers, as they came from behind and won in double overtime.

Game 2 was entirely different, as San Antonio only got their paws on the ball nine times in the loss at home.

The Spurs have to force the young Golden State team into making mistakes, plain and simple. Kawhi Leonard is a good defender and was responsible for two of his team's nine turnovers. He and the rest of the Spurs need to get their hands on the ball if they want to prevent more shots from flying.


Hit Open Shots and Play Spurs Defense

This one might be obvious (I mean, it's the entire goal of the game), but honestly, this is the best way they can stop the crazy shooting spree the Warriors have been on.

While Golden State has been hot from beyond the arc, if these past two games have shown us anything, they have cooled off late in games. In Game 2, the Warriors only made two of their 12 shots from outside of the paint

The Warriors are going to hit some shots. Their backcourt is too good not to. But if San Antonio can hit timely shots and prevent Golden State from getting a double-digit lead, they can wait until the Warriors cool off.