Early reports out of Oakland indicate that Danny Green did not “grow four or five inches” as Greg Popovich desired. Nor has there been any word yet if Kevin Durant heeded Popovich’s advice to “not be so good” ...but that also seems unlikely.
Can the Spurs find some offense?
In game one, Steve Kerr took an extremely unusual move when he inserted a couple of savvy veterans, Andre Iguodala and Javale McGee* into the starting lineup. It was sort of a flip of that hilarious Game of Zones quote on Mike D’Antoni recruiting Harden by sharing his team mantra of “half the defense, double the offense.” But instead of overloading on the offensive end, Kerr went all in for defense. Sacrificing the spacing provided by Quinn Cook in order to swap in the length and defensive chops of Andre Iguodala. Similarly, Javale McGee may not be our best defender on paper, but for a team like the Spurs with limited athleticism, it adds a wrinkle that’s hard to plan around- much more so than a traditional, ground-dwelling big like Zaza Pachulia.
And the Spurs couldn’t fight their way out of it - Golden State shot 54.3% to the Spurs’ 40%, and the 113-92 victory wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. Lamarcus Aldridge, the Spurs leading scorer in the regular season, managed just 14 points in around 24 minutes of play. Rudy Gay chipped in 15, but had a muted impact on the defensive end.
Regardless of all that, I’m guessing Gay will get inserted into the starting lineup tonight - but we’ll update you once the final starters are announced.
Hallelujah on my medulla - the Warriors played smart basketball!!
Game one was a revelation. After all the doubt, all the questions about the Warriors focus and determination, they came out in game one and laid down an amazingly complete game on both ends of the court.
Without Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs are trying to solve one of the most talented offensive teams in the history of the NBA with the basketball equivalent of a couple of old Swiss Army knives and some old twine.
It didn’t work out well for them on Saturday, but perhaps even more alarming for the rest of the NBA, it has allowed the Warriors to find their familiar playoff stride quickly - something that has been equal parts concern and comfort, depending on where you come in on the Warriors fan spectrum of Belief.
“You know, we want to get back to that, regardless of what everyone is saying. ‘The Warriors have lost it. They are not together. They can’t win without Steph. They are not the same team.’ … We know what we’re capable of. You know, there has been games that we’ve won without Steph; a series. Same as Kevin (Durant), myself. We’ve won games without myself. We’ve won games without Klay (Thompson). We’ve won games without our head coach. So we’re primed for this. I think a lot of people have tend to forgot what we’re capable of. We know, and we’re going to show that.”
They showed that in game one. Hopefully game two will be more of the same.
Oracle will be loud.
Warriors 104, Spurs 95
* Note, Javale McGee may not actually be savvy, but results to date are inconclusive.