The matchup of the game will be between Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs and Jarrett Jack of the Golden State Warriors for tonight's game at the AT&T Center.
While both men technically don't play the same position in the depth chart, both teams ask the same from them off the bench. Ginobili and Jack are both sixth men for their respective teams and play the point guard position for the majority of their time on the floor. With Gary Neal on the floor, Manu takes over the point duties on offense while guarding his man on defense with Neal's inability to handle the ball consistently.
In the last meeting between the two teams, the Spurs fell to the Warriors 107-101 at Golden State behind and that was mostly Jarrett Jack doing the damage. He scored 30 points on 11-22 (50%) shooting and dished out 10 assists. He was also +19 in the process. Ginobili also had a decent game with 18 points on 8-17 (40%) shooting with 5 rebounds but was 0-5 on 3-point field goal attempts. Ginobili has seemed to get in a groove in March averaging 12.5ppg (.1 points higher than his average) and has gotten more involved in the offense by averaging 6.8apg this month (2.1 points higher than his season average).
What Ginobili must do on offense:
He's only averaging 2apg against the Warriors this season, well under both his monthly average and his season average. He's scoring 18ppg against them, but he needs to get the rest of the offense involved. Golden State is ranked 21st (100.2ppg) in points allowed this season, which means the Spurs should get good looks against the Warriors with their poor defense. Manu must move the ball and use picks to get the defense rotating which will either give him an open shot or his teammates one. Manu isn't having trouble scoring against the Warriors, but he has to be aggressive to command the defense to commit to stopping him and that'll help his assist numbers go up against this team.
What Ginobili must do on defense:
Coach Gregg Popovich usually changes defensive lineups and it wouldn't be too much of a shocker if Pop put a taller longer defender like Ginobili against Jarrett Jack. This season with Jack, it's been a "pick your poison" type of strategy defending him. He's shooting above 40% in all areas. He's averaging 51% (41-80) in the restricted area, but prefers to shoot mid range where he's averaging 46% (116-253) and in the paint area where he's also averaging 46% (75-165). He really doesn't have too much of a weakness this season and is shooting where he feels comfortable as opposed to trying to take hard shots and making them. Ginobili defending him should cause him a bit of discomfort with his size and foot speed, but Manu has to stay in front of him and trust the Spurs' big men to help against him. It'd be better for the Spurs to make Jack work for his shots in the paint than take spot up jumpers where he doesn't use much energy.