Thursday, May 9, 2013

Warriors - Spurs Game Two: Do The Dubs Dub

Splash, Splash, Splash
Some wondered if the Warriors were going to be able to shake off losing Game One, where they held a 16 point lead late, then lost another lead in overtime, then gave up a game-winning three-pointer in double overtime.

To me, the bigger worry for Golden State was how Stephen Curry was going to react after playing nearly 60 minutes of absurdly intense and good basketball. Golden State's best player has never had a season with this many minutes -- hell, he's rarely had two or three seasons with this many minutes -- and there was no reason to think he was going to be able to do that again.

Well, he didn't. Curry had 11 points in the first en route to a 22/4/4 night that counts as weak for him, thanks to 7 for 20 shooting and 3 turnovers. But luckily for the Dubs, the lone player on the team that might have felt fresh tonight -- shooting guard Klay Thompson, who fouled out before the collapse in Game One -- had the half and game of his life, with 29 in the first and 34/14/1 overall. On 8 of 9 shooting from the arc, the last of which stopped a Spur run at the end of the third quarter.

It wasn't just Thompson and Curry. I'm really not that big of a fan of Jarrett Jack's game, as he seems to just mix good and terrible plays indiscriminately, but his 8 points and 4 assists were well-timed. Andrew Bogut's 6/11/2 doesn't look like a difference maker, but it was, especially on interior defense. Carl Landry picked up 10/8 in 14 minutes, and there might not be a better place on the planet to be a big man with a mid-range game, since these guards are just going to find you, and you are never not open. Draymond Green hit a massive three in the fourth and got to some big loose balls. Really, there wasn't a bad player for the Dubs tonight.

As for the Spurs... it's always dangerous to throw dirt on these vampires, but the fact is that they've played 106 minutes of basketball against the Warriors so far, and have led in very few of them. They struggle on offense unless Tony Parker is killing it, and Parker has no one that he can guard on this team on defense. Manu Ginobili has basically been the Spurs' Jack so far, and needs to be a lot better than that. Matt Bonner has absolutely no role in this series, and neither does Boris Diaw; the Warrior bigs are just too athletic for either of them to guard, and their sneaky games don't work at this tempo.

If it's my team, I'd throw Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green at the Dub guards, try to slow the game down with Tim Duncan and give DeJuan Blair a shot, hack Bogut until Mark Jackson makes the mistake of limiting his minutes, and accept the fact that he's going to have to win this ugly. Gregg Popovich is probably going to come up with better stuff than that, but just doing what you've done to date is going to get you blown out on the road.

There is always talk over how, when a lower seed wins a road game in the first two of a series, that they stole one. Um, no. The Spurs are an eyelash away from being down 2-0 to the best shooting guard tandem I've ever seen, with the next two games in front of the best home crowd in the NBA. This is starting to feel pretty damned historic, folks.

Game Three is Friday in Oakland. Pretty sure it's loud there already.

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