Ah yes, the marquee match-up of the season. The Golden State Warriors vs. the San Antonio Spurs. A highly anticipated re-match meeting of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala vs. Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker and....wait, what? What do you mean none of them are playing tonight? But it’s the big ABC Saturday Night game!
Well, then. Considering the fact that the rosters are depleted, the Warriors are on a road trip from hell, are on the second game of a back-to-back, and are coming off of two losses in a row, the outcome of this game comes as no surprise. And I’m writing this part at 4:00pm!
So let’s see what actually happened. Here were your starters for tonight’s game:
Warriors starters tonight in San Antonio: Shaun Livingston, Patrick McCaw, Matt Barnes, Kevon Looney and Zaza Pachulia.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) March 12, 2017
Spurs: Mills, Green, Anderson, Lee, Dedmon. Warriors: Livingston, Barnes, McCaw, Looney, Zaza.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) March 12, 2017
Take it away, future me.
Future me, checking in.
Well, that certainly was a game of basketball. They had professional players wearing uniforms and they played four quarters and everything! So many memorable moments, who could keep track?
Just kidding. That was the most tedious two and a half hours of the season. Our own Bram Kincheloe broke down in the second half:
Okay, screw it. Only tweeting gifs of puppies and kittens and whatnot from here on out.— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) March 12, 2017
Okay, okay, focus. It wasn’t all bad. I mean, it was. But there was a highlight of the night! Ian Clark, who wasn’t starting for some reason, scored 36 points in 34 minutes off the bench! That’s great!
Zaza Pachulia and Matt Barnes combined for 25 points and 21 rebounds, pretty good!
Unfortunately three of tonight’s starters, Kevon Looney, Patrick McCaw and Shaun Livingston combined for six points. That’s bad.
Further driving Bram (and Nate P.) over the ledge was McCaw shooting 0-of-12 on field goals. Looney was 1-of-8 and Livingston was 1-of-7. That is not how you win a game of basketball.
And they didn’t! Despite also having some concerning injuries, the Spurs were deeper. Patty Mills shot 5-of-7 from downtown and they had four other players reach double digit scoring as well.
The Warriors had three. And one of them was Pachulia.
Ultimately, this game was a disappointment before it ever started.
The league keeps scheduling big match-ups between these two teams on the back end of a back-to-back for the Warriors. The Warriors have been through the ringer in the last couple of weeks, so it’s understandable for them to rest players. Additionally, it is unfortunate that the Spurs are dealing with some worrisome injuries.
But really, what a disappointment for the fans. I’m not going to go all Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy here, but it does kind of suck that these are billed as the biggest games of the season, tickets are priced accordingly, and then fans show up for these lineups? Even Spurs fans didn’t look happy to be there.
I think the bigger point is not that coaches shouldn’t rest players, but that the league needs to re-evaluate the schedules. You can’t expect the superstars to be fresh at this point in the season. Especially when you have them on a grueling travel schedule, throwing in multiple back-to-backs.
If the league wants to have these showcase games actually be worth showcasing, they need to plan them accordingly on the schedule. But that’s just my two cents.
The Warriors have now lost the series advantage over the Spurs and retain only a half-game lead. That’s probably fine.
If you made it through the entirety of that game, we salute you. Go get yourself a drink, you earned it.