Too old, too slow, can’t contend, these descriptions followed the San Antonio Spurs every postseason since ’08. Yet, for the second year in a row, Greg Popovich’s group let their play speak volumes. The Spurs’ 94-82 victory over Golden State last night sent the media darling Warriors packing and opened a new chapter for the NBA Playoffs: The Western Conference Finals.
The Warriors are Raj’s beat but, since the guy’s still crying in his car, he can’t be here to seek consolation via keystrokes. Send some thoughts and prayers out for him because the pain is very real for him right now.
Anyway, San Antonio controlled tempo early until the Warriors strung together some runs in the second half. The Oracle got into it and it appeared as if another impending collapse emerged in Dionne Warwick’s crystal ball.
Then, late in the fourth, the game turned out into a series of breaks going San Antonio’s way. A string of tough threes kept GState at bay and, surprisingly enough, two huge treys came in succession from a struggling Tony Parker. The guy couldn’t hit anything out there but managed to ice the Warriors’ last attempts to prolong their season. Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green also chipped in from downtown and triggered pivotal defensive stops along the way.
Meanwhile, Golden State got played by the rim on consecutive three point attempts from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Those rim rattlers, along with San Antonio converting on their end, took all the gas out of Golden State’s engine. Yet, despite the disappointment, you can see Golden State shows promise despite their youth.
Golden State has a versatile core and the much improved defense under Mark Jackson’s staff can’t be ignored. At the same time it’s clear their movement still has issues to address. You already know what to expect from the likes of Steph, David Lee, Andrew Bogut and supporting players such as Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. Their success lives and dies with Klay Thompson’s and and Harrison Barnes’ consistency: or lack thereof.