Tough questions that many face must be answered in the next couple of days. The Golden State Warriors are already in San Antonio, preparing to face the Spurs, who are very good at home.
This time, however, coach Mark Jackson says that he’s not going to think about Golden State’s 16-game losing streak in San Antonio. It’s just a number, and after seeing the Warriors, even Gregg Poppovich is impressed. He’s hard to impress, folks.
With that being said, the Warriors’ major question is: Can they pull off an upset?.
The likely answer to that is no, but don’t be so quick to dismiss them just yet. Against the Denver Nuggets, the best home team in the NBA, the Warriors were victorious in Game 2 by a margin of 14 points. San Antonio is more vulnerable than Denver. The Warriors have a good shot to win either Game 1 or 2. Coming home, they’ve beaten the Spurs twice in Oracle.
There’s no major concern there, but according to ex-Spur Richard Jefferson, the Warriors are going to have to play much better than they did in the first round. They’re obviously capable of that because they didn’t play perfectly. The Dubs are lucky to be in such a great position, but they could cut down on their turnovers, especially in the fourth quarter. Teams go on huge runs just because the Warriors cannot simply inbound the ball. And if the Spurs pressure each inbound pass, they’re going to end up with a lot of steals.
Point guards are usually the smartest players on the team, and I think that Stephen Curry has the potential to go head-to-head with Tony Parker. After all, the Warriors are rolling. He has the stroke, the driving ability and the court vision like a true point guard. The only weak part of his game is the defense. That’s why the Warriors can put him on somebody like Danny Green, who isn’t an explosive player.
This leaves Klay Thompson to be at the helm on defense and Curry on offense. Of course, they’re both offensive threats, but the difference is that Curry comes through each and every game while Thompson does not. Because of this, however, Thompson dominates the matchup defensively, and can guard quicker and smaller guys. He gets called for a lot of fouls, but he’s becoming wiser.
Curry is an excellent shooter and can easily take Parker, who’s an adequate, not super, defender. The Spurs are going to try and find ways to keep Curry contained, but even an excellent coach like George Karl failed to do that, so it’s not really a surprise that Curry would explode in the second half. Whatever the other team does, Mark Jackson had a solution.