When Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr took over back in the 2014-2015 season, he ushered in a dynastic run: five straight Finals, three championships, and a phenomenal 323-90 regular season record (.782 win percentage).
Right behind Kerr’s Warriors during this timespan is the 281-132 record (.680 win percentage) compiled by his mentor Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs. In fact, the Spurs represented the West in the two Finals preceding the Warriors run, part of the Texas team’s six different Finals trips since 1999.
These two franchises have been the class of the Western Conference, and now both are going through youth movements on the fly. Their early season clash will provide for entertaining theater between two coaches who know each other well, and two teams trying to figure it out before it’s too late.
WHO: San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors
WHEN: Friday, November 1st, 2019, 7:30 PM
WHERE: The Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
WATCH: CSNBA, FSSW
Blog buddy: Pounding the Rock
How to go: StubHub Tix Portal
The Spurs’ rejuvenation process
The days of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker using their hall-of-fame skills and IQ to get San Antonio wins are long gone. Yet, the Spurs remain undeterred.
Lonnie Walker, Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, Bryn Forbes, and Jakob Poeltl are all youngsters getting their feet wet in Popovich’s system. As they acclimate, Popovich leans heavily on veteran All-Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan to lead the charge.
Jesus Gomez of Pounding the Rock addressed that delicate balance of playing to win now while looking towards the future:
As you may already know, the Spurs currently seem to be on a two-year timeline in which the veterans are expected to lead the way while younger players develop and wait for their turn. LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Patty Mills and now DeMarre Carroll all have contracts that expire in the summer of 2021.
This is a crucial time for San Antonio to figure out what they have and groom their youngsters in the stars of tomorrow.
The Warriors ain’t done either
Golden State is in a very similar boat, with a 31-year old Stephen Curry assuming the role of elder statesman on the team alongside veterans Draymond Green and the injured Klay Thompson.
Gone are Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, and Shaun Livingston, franchise cornerstones that helped create a juggernaut. After being blown out twice to start the season, the new Dubs showed progress with a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
Steph Curry: "Everybody loves to label you when you're down, when you're losing. That's easy. It's easy to go on TV and say whatever you want. It's easy to throw darts at a team trying to figure it out...Say whatever you want to fill that 24-hour news cycle. It's cool with us."— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 29, 2019
Playing against San Antonio is always a true test, both mentally and physically. Popovich’s ability to scheme against the weaknesses of his opponents is renowned, and Kerr will have to cook up something special to keep the young Warriors from being overwhelmed.
There’s been a lot of chatter about whether or not Kerr needs to change his system to suit the needs of his younger players, or if he should stay the course in the hopes that they figure it out. Popovich showed he was flexible when he agreed to mold his system around Aldridge rather than the other way around. Only time will tell how it shakes out for the Dubs.
Jordan Poole = confidence (he's 3-for-3 from deep now) pic.twitter.com/rAs00qgRq1— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) October 29, 2019
This game is going to be a tremendous matchup between two old rivals with a fascinating mixture of youth and skill.
Don’t miss out on a chance to join in on the action and experience it first hand at the new Chase Center in San Francisco! Grab your tix today on StubHub, and join the Dub Nation faithful in rooting on the home team at a time when they need it most.
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