During the first half of the first game of the season, the Spurs clicked like a well-oiled machine at Oracle Arena while the Warriors seemed out of sync on both ends of the floor.
During a first-half timeout, Coach Steve Kerr labeled Golden State's play "frenetic."
Down by 15 with seven minutes left in the half, this was an understatement. With the exception of a productive stretch by Kevin Durant and a few well-timed three-point shots by Stephen Curry, missed shots, sloppy ball-handling, turnovers and undesirable body language (ahem, Zaza Pachulia) ruled the half.
Meanwhile, Tim Duncan's retirement seemed to have had zero effect on the Spurs, who were sharp and crisp with ball movement, accurate with their shots and consistent with their rebounds.
By the end of the second half, Curry was lighting it up from three, Durant had a few impressive stuffs, and the team was pressuring the Spurs more on the defensive end. Then, a defensive lapse resulted in a wide-open Ginobli sinking a three-point shot with less than two minutes left in the half.
All told, the Warriors’ ability to keep the Spurs out of rhythm was limited to only a few minutes at the end of the second quarter. By the time the clock had reached 41 seconds left in the half, the Spurs had completed a 7-0 run.
A subsequent slam by Andre Iguodala generated some excitement ... but it was immediately followed by a San Antonio three-pointer with the clock expiring.
It can take players a while to shake off the rust of the offseason. But, for the Warriors, there is the added burden of building team chemistry with all of the new additions to the roster.
It’s 64-46 at the half.
Can the Warriors turn it around in the third and fourth quarters ... especially with clear evidence that the team does, indeed, have a target on its back?
Can Kerr make the kinds of adjustments that will silence the #FireKerr crowd?