- Warriors try to keep up the pace after Game 1 drubbing of Spurs
- San Antonio looks to contain Golden State’s high-octane offense
- Kevin Durant takes control while Stephen Curry recovers from knee injury
No Steph was no problem for Golden State in Game 1 of their Western Conference opening round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, and they look to hold serve back at Oracle Monday night and take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.
Veteran Andre Iguodala moved into the starting lineup to replace Curry, but he took a back seat to the superstars, as the Warriors – who finished the regular season 7-10 – got back to business as usual.
Kevin Durant was his usual all-around bad-ass playoff self, while Klay Thompson fired lightning bolts from every part of the court. San Antonio, entering the game as the best defensive team in basketball (surrendering just 99 points a game), could only plug the hole in the dam for so long before getting washed away.
When you’re held to just 92 points and 40 per cent shooting, there’s one thing even more certain than a San Antonio loss: a gem of a Gregg Popopvich presser, where the questions are lobbed slowly, the shrapnel flies, and very few Q’s qualify as worthy of a real response.
San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors Team Stats
*Stats do not include the playoffs
|43.8||Points In The Paint||44.1|
*Stats do not include the playoffs
|April 14 – Playoff||GS||113-92||GS|
|March 20 – Regular Season||SA||89-75||SA|
|March 9 – Regular Season||GS||110-107||GS|
|Feb. 10 – Regular Season||GS||122-105||GS|
|Nov. 12 – Regular Season||SA||112-92||GS|
File Game 1 under the same tab as the storyline for basically every game of the regular season where Golden State fielded a reasonable lineup (two of their four all-stars in uniform).
When Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio’s best player and true superstar is MIA, they are just not talented, athletic or anything enough to be capable of handling the Warriors.
Golden State mines great shots, which is why they easily led the league in assists again this season at close to 30 dimes a contest. Eventually, that ball movement finds its way into a clean look. And if all else fails, Durant can go and get a bucket any time he wants.
It’s almost unfair.
Notable Injuries and Absences
|Kawhi Leonard (quad): QUESTIONABLE||Stephen Curry (knee): OUT|
Straight Up Advice: Warriors (122-110)
Expect more resistance from the Spurs, who rarely put up back-to-back playoff stinkers, but it might not be enough. The Warriors looked rusty and still shot 54-percent from the field and 45-percent from beyond the arc.
LaMarcus Aldridge was also outscored by Javale McGee 15-14 and handled defensively. San Antonio’s lone all-star currently playing needs to be the best player in the game for his team to have a chance at a win. Some help from the vets would also be nice – that’s you Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Rudy Gay and Pau Gasol.
The Warriors looked rusty and still shot 54 per cent from the field and 45 per cent from beyond the arc.
There are small paths to success: the Spurs did force 15 turnovers, and any Warriors weakness begins with their carelessness with the ball. If they can win an advantage on the glass, instead of the -10 they had in Game 1, that could earn them enough possessions to keep it close.
Still, too much Durant / Klay in this one again. Dubs roll.
Team Trends – Regular Season
|San Antonio is 14-28 SU on the road||Golden State is 30-12 SU at home|
|San Antonio is 4-6 SU in its last ten games||Golden State is 5-5 SU in its last ten games|
|San Antonio is 5-19 SU as an underdog||Golden State is 58-19 SU as a favorite|
|San Antonio is 19-16-0 ATS after a loss||Golden State is 21-36-1 ATS after a win|
|San Antonio is 41-39-3 ATS this season (51.2%)||Golden State is 34-48-1 ATS this season (41.5%)|
|San Antonio is 16-25-1 ATS on the road||Golden State is 16-25-1 ATS at home|
Additional SU Picks (April 16th)
Just one other series goes Monday night, and it’s a big one in the City of Brotherly Love, as the Sixers try to go 2-0 on the Heat.
|Heat vs 76ers – Game 2||Heat|