With the sixth-seeded Golden State Warriors surprisingly dominating the third-seeded Denver Nuggets 3-1 in their best of seven series, it’s time to start thinking about a potential Warriors/Spurs matchup in the second round.
I think most San Antonio Spurs fans would rather see Golden State than Denver, but there are definitely pros and cons to meeting the Warriors next round if it shakes out that way for the Spurs in the second round.
After a matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers and having to battle hard down in the post against two talented 7-footers in Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, the Warriors will come as a relief to the Spurs’ big men. With David Lee out, Golden State really only has one big man that plays legitimate minutes, Andrew Bogut. Bogut is a true center but he may even be on a minutes restriction because he can be fragile at times. Carl Landry is listed as a power forward, but he’s only 6’9”. Most of the time the Warriors play small ball, which could prove a big advantage for the Spurs. If San Antonio wants to go with a bigger lineup, it may force the Warriors to give additional, unwanted minutes to their post players, which could cause problems.
The Warriors haven’t made the playoffs since 2007, and they’re a young team now. That means that a lot of their guys are seeing their first playoff action ever. Their coach, Mark Jackson, is in his first postseason as well. To their credit, they haven’t looked so inexperienced in their opening round series against the Nuggets, but Denver is a young team as well. The Spurs and Coach Gregg Popovich would be an ideal team to take advantage.
Aside from the notable injury to David Lee that knocked him out of the rest of the playoffs, many of the Warriors are dealing with minor ailments that have them playing at less than 100%. If you only watched the highlights from Game 4 of the Nuggets/Warriors series, you probably think Stephen Curry was unstoppable from start to finish, but actually his first half was rather unimpressive. Jackson even said he considered pulling Curry from the game at halftime because his ankle was bothering him so much. Several other players on the roster are dealing with bumps and bruises as well.
Shooters, shooters, shooters
The Warriors starting backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson is being called the best shooting duo of all time by some. If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch the third quarter of Sunday’s game. It’s one of the greatest shooting displays of all time. Curry was on fire and just couldn’t be stopped. Not only that, but a lot of the shots he took were open looks because Denver couldn’t get the perimeter defenders on him. The Spurs didn’t really have to play any perimeter defense in the first round because none of the Lakers could shoot from the outside. That won’t be the case if they face the Warriors. All the guards will have to be outstanding at closing out on the three-pointers and preventing as many open looks as possible, because if you give these guys a couple inches, they’ll make you pay.
Home sweet home
Going into the postseason, I was worried about the Spurs having to go to Denver because the Nuggets were almost unbeatable at home this season. Now Oakland seems much worse. Warrior fans come to every game ready to blow the roof off Oracle Arena. If you remember the last time Golden State made the playoffs, they were an eight-seed that took down the top seeded Dallas Mavericks. Just watching them play at home during that series was a sight to see. That has not changed and for Games 3 and 4 of the series against the Spurs, you can bet the crowd is going to play a huge factor.
What do you think Spurs fans? What are your pros and cons on the Warriors? Maybe you rather have San Antonio face Denver?
@GinoBaldisseri I really want that to happen. Love watching Miller. His Q1 alley oop pass with 9 secs on the clock really made me smile. Everyone expecting him to run the clock down. And what made me really cheer was when he pulled the same trick to kill the game in Q4. Miller time in SA! Would be a much more enticing series than vs Warriors. I want the the Nuggets too :)
Well, I thought I'd see some interesting conversations on here about the next round but for the most part I see a bunch of rhetoric about the last round. LA was hurt, undermanned and I believe poorly coached. But the fact is - it doesn't matter...its over with. Regardless of who's next the series should be entertaing and could go either way. Have to wait and watch!
So give it to the Clippers and Warriors for still being in the playoffs while you guys are at home talking about the days of wilt....
your right Lakers do have a lot in the past, but we talking bout past or present?....Sad that is all you can say what you have done in the past right...I watch games live though and we are up their and still playing right now...I'm sure your also a cowboys fan so you want to talk about 1994 and the good ol days?...But lets take the last 3 playoff runs by the lakers...
1st round Knockout by the Mavs
2nd round Knockout by the Thunder
Ist round sweep by the spurs....
Your right they are great, kobe is great and maybe you can land grant hill since you guys like over the hill suns...
@ChrisCano LMAO you wanna talk about the last 3 playoffs??
West Conference got killed by OKC Finish 1st in the regular season by the way
2010-2011 season Got killed by the Grizzles in the first round! -Finished 1st in the regular season.
2009-2010 Got swept by the Suns thats pretty sad buddy! - Finished 2nd in the regular season.
Do your homework before you talk shit about the lakers dumbass.
@YaBoyRay408 You know the Lakers had a period where they didn't win a championship. In 2002, when they won their third of the three-peat, they didn't win the next one until 2009. So, during that time period, were you still talking about how badass the lakers were??
@ChrisCano Believe me i know my teams history! i know we have way more championships then the spurs do. I know we have more in the past 12 years too. lakers missed the playoffs 1 time in Kobes era and he still has more championships then the whole spurs Franchise thats pretty sad buddy.
@YaBoyRay408 What are you talking about. Everybody knows the 2002 NBA Western Finals against Sacramento was totally rigged. Remember Game 6? One of he refs who called that game ADMITTED that Game 6 was rigged for the lakers. Shaq even admitted on NBA TV that Sacramento was the better team that year.
@YaBoyRay408 Why are you bringing up PAST championships? Do you know how stupid that argument is. The Lakers were winning rings BEFORE San Antonio even had a basketball team. When the San Antonio Spurs were created, the Lakers already had 6 rings to their name. Also, past champions having nothing to do with RIGHT now. It has nothing to do with Kobe Bryant's era. You are just bringing up past champions because you just simply want to feel superior. How fucking sad.
No superstar wants to play with Kobe and when Lebron and that free gent class went on funny thing no one even visited the Lakers... So your big free agent you landed was Old man Nash...Your right everyone does want to play in LA
Your right those free agent players this year were great, just remember the wrong Buss is running the show...I remeber the days of Smoosh Parker when Bryant was crying out of LA when the suns knock them out of the playoffs early. The Sham trade that was pulled off when you got Gasol for Kwami Brown and Fisher weaseled his way out of his Utah contract did bring you 2 titles but wasnt due to free agency...Last big free agent you landed was Shaq....So you did make many great moves with the great coach and those huge free agents this year and how is that working out for you? Oh that right fighting for the last playoff spot even with Kobe...
So if your saying we will be lucky to make the playoffs once Duncan leaves? So we will be like the Lakers this year with Kobe?...Yeah your coach is the one to take you to the promise land...That is even funnier than getting swept by the spurs right?....If your team gets swept you may not want to talk trash while your org is in a free fall...But I know you want to be in a discussion and talk Lakers and the good ol days, go to the Bucks Lakers i just got swept support chat and stir up some good convo...But will give it up to you at least you will root for the warrior and clips to do what you cant, even with Superman on your roster...lol
@ChrisCano Free fall? lol we havent missed the playoff was in 04-05. Before that i cant even remember! Your funny if you dont think they will grab free agents since LA is everyones favorite place to go! We dont ever rebuild, We grab big market players.
Cali basketball pecking order....
3. Golden "We Are Warriors State
4. Latino Explosion (group of guys who play pick up games in Compton)
Keep holding on to the showtime era....And hope the warriors take care of the spurs is like sending your brother to beat up the guy that just whopped your A$$
Now Lakers fans are talking trash, only a lakers fan will talk trash after getting swept. Before you talk about your past like all Lakers fans will do understand your team is declining every year and just got swept out of the first round and were losing alot of games before kobe went down....
@ChrisCano Lol! You make me laugh dude, At least the lakers have won a championship in the past 5 years! 2 at that! spurs havent won one since 04! Wait until Duncan and Manu leave, the spurs will be lucky to be in the 8th seed. Lakers will win a championship before the spurs win one again.
Im the dumba$$ but your here talking about how great your losing franchise is. we play to win and you play to get lottery pics.. Get back to back winning seasons before you talk about being good...I know that sounds impossible as a warriors fan since you havent done it since 93....wow you guys make me laugh.. Your response titles make a team, we have them in this era can the warriors say that? We al;so put up a winning product every year can the warriors say that? Heck the warriors even blotch up the Lottery pics!....Your best comeback is Your old....come on
@ChrisCano You are a dumbass. When was the last time lakers had a lottery ticket idiot? Obviously you dont even know that im talking about my team the lakers not the warriors. Ill be laughing at your ass when Golden State pulls off an upset and beats the spurs!
@YaBoyRay408 Golden State will beat the spurs? LMFAO, Golden State hasn't won a game in San Antonio since 1997.
@YaBoyRay408 You just said the playoffs are way different than regular season, yet brought up the fact Golden State beat the spurs this year, IN THE REGULAR SEASON. Great reasoning right there buddy. And in the last meeting in Golden State, Pop sat his starters down for most of the 2nd half. But you are right, Playoffs is totally different. It takes experience to conquer the postseason, something the spurs have done multiple times and the warriors........well........never.
@ajd21 Doesnt matter how many games they havent won in SA. They still beat them this year. Playoffs are way different then Regular season.
How many titles do we have? really that is all you got? Our titles came in this era not in the 70's....The Robinson era were also great I think it was one losing season in the past 23 years....
@ChrisCano Titles Makes a franchise you dumbass. What else do you play for? a box of cookies. You can have all the winning seasons in the world and no Championships.
FYI that depleted Lakers team had how many more all stars than the warriors. we made them look silly because thats what we do that to teams,3 you will see soon enough. Lakers would have had a great series with you guy two mediocre teams going head to head would have been great for you guys oh wait that what your are in right now that makes you think you can contend!...
@ChrisCano Lmao! A lakers team that had no Kobe, No Nash and no Steve Blake, I love how your trying to make the spurs look like they are the shit for beating a injured lakers team. Best Believe if Kobe was playing the spurs would of at least lost the first 2 games when they were shooting horrible.
@YaBoyRay408 Are you telling me The spurs would've lost their first two games at home against LA with kobe? The spurs would've still eliminated the lakers WITH Kobe. Kobe would've jack shot his team to elimination. The lakers are done, stop bringing them up.
@YaBoyRay408 As bad as the spurs were playing? The last games of the regular season doesn't mean shit. The spurs went 9-8 in their last 17 games in 2005, and lost to many bad teams in that stretch. Guess what? The spurs ended up winning the championship that year. Charles Barkley, Shaq, even Kurt Rambis said even with Kobe, the spurs would've still won, either in 6 or 7 games.
@ajd21 AS bad as the spurs were playing yes i know we would have won. We lacked shooting which kobe of course brings.
I love how you all call us old and we are not that old, yes the Duncan years are coming to an end but TP and Leonard are in their prime. we have 25 million free for Free agency plus our deep bench. we are considered the best franchise in sports period by Forbes and SI for a reason we just that. Best front office and coach, so you think we are done....just like you believe GS will be great for years to come it is a fantasy.
I was born in San Antonio so no bandwagon for me, unlike you losers clinging to your "we believe" shirts from 2007. You guys are saying the future is bright but Curry ankles are held together with silly putty....His little Brother has to encourage him to Man up and play...Great season where you had a free fall going into the playoffs and get a few wins against Denver now makes you contender. Please you will have years of lottery picks in the next ten years to come. Winning teams come in cycles? that is true for the Lakers Celtic and Bulls but not our spurs that have had how many 50+ winning seasons in the past 20 years. Yes warrior fans you never have won that many games in one season in the past 20 years, it normally takes you 2 seasons to rack up that many wins. The spurs are on a different level than you and we will always be elite and you ARE THE WARRIORS....
@ChrisCano The Best Franchise in sports?? Please tell me again how many championships they have?? They might have been good in the Duncan era but before that they were nothing special.
As a Warriors fan, I'll state that most of what's in the article seems reasonable. A couple possible other cons exist though--the Warriors have an excellent bench that has outplayed Denver's supposedly deep, talented bench all series; also the Warriors feature excellent teamwork and unselfishness, shutting one guy down is not enough as all five starters and several bench players are double digit scoring guys capable of lighting it up any night. However, with all that said, this is the Spurs we're talking about, with great players, great coaching, and a ton of experience (and home advantage). Plus, there's a psychological edge as the Spurs have had the Warriors number for at least a decade.
It will (if the Warriors hang on and win their series now) be an interesting series of experience vs youth. All, or at least most, Warriors fans have a ton of respect for the Spurs, but we'll be excited to see what this group can do against them. Regardless of the outcome, the Warriors have so much ahead of them, it's just crazy; so exciting to finally have a team that is not only really good now but potentially great and full of really decent people who are fun to root for. Good luck to both teams and may no one get injured.
@GordonWalker Thanks for the respect, man. It's very unfortunate with what happened to David Lee. I hope he makes a speedy recovery. And you're right, it should be an exciting series.
@Emicris @GordonWalker It'd be pretty hard not to give respect to the Spurs; they've always played solid basketball and been classy. Always rooted for them when they played the Lakers or Dallas. Injuries have been pretty rough for us this season--lost Brandon Rush just before the season began and then Lee, but it'll only help in terms of development of younger guys, so there's a bright side, I guess. Congrats on crushing the Lakers and best of luck to whoever wins this series :) (and hopefully it's an exciting series, though there is definitely the possibility that the Spurs will take the Warriors apart--they are so damn methodical, fundamentally sound, talented and well-coached that a young team like the Warriors will have to do everything perfectly to stay in it).
@GordonWalker Ah ok. Now I kinda remember hearing about that. May he recover successfully along with Lee. So, I guess it's safe to assume that Jefferson might be traded by next season's trade deadline. And yeah, the Spurs will need it for sure (especially for Splitter to recover from his ankle injury and Diaw recovering from his surgery).
@Emicris @GordonWalker Hey emi, Rush tore his ACL preseason or very early in the season, believe it was the former. As far as Jefferson, he's been an ok back up, but not much more. He's basically a deep bench player who is useful but terribly priced (he'll be sure to take his player option for next year, but he'll be an expiring contract at that point, so useful in 2014. Brandon was a really key guy coming into this season, so looking forward to his return next year. Denver's stayed alive at least one more game, so the Spurs will be getting some more rest :)
@GordonWalker That's right, I forgot Brandon Rush was on the Warriors. What injury did he have that kept him out this season? And yeah, just like you said, I too hope nobody gets injured. Oh, and just curious, how had Richard Jefferson been doing?
I think looking at it dispassionately, facing the Warriors is facing young players. True, they have Curry and Thompson and lumbering giant in Bogut. They have a neophyte center in Ezeli. After this, what can they offer? On the one hand, the Nuggets have big guys to count on and reliable perimeter shooters. But what matters is the deep bench of the Spurs and the experience they have acquired thru the years. Some of the Warriors and Nuggets were still kids when TD, TP, Manu and Diaw were already playing bigtime. Anyway, the Spurs can't choose their opponents. Whichever of the 2 teams will emerge winner, the Spurs will be ready. GO SPURS GO!
Yes we got to see GSW put the nail in the coffin on DEN but no Lee does play into the hands of the SAS and let's not forget, the SAS did a pretty decent job on Howard and Gasol so Bogut shouldn't be that bad to contend with.
Also, Diaw and Splitter will be well rested and healthy.
@JeffProjectSpurs Come now Diaw and Splitter you got to be kidding me they could be healthy and i still would not sweat them. It's your Big three against our whole team
@Kingsez408 Yeah and Andrew Bogut is a threat?? He averages 8 points in his playoff career. Are we supposed to fear freakin EZELI?? LMFAO, your only threats are Curry, Thompson and Jarrett Jack. You don't know jack shit about the spurs if you just think our big 3 does all the work. We have Kawhi Leonard (who Kobe Bryant HIMSELF acknowledged his tough defense against early in the season), Danny Green, Gary Neal, Tiago Splitter, and Diaw. As far as I'm concerned, your team is full of young and inexperienced players playing in their FIRST playoffs. You fail to see the significance in that and blow it off like it's nothing.
Splitter may have been invisible on the offense versus the Lakers, but if he is going to be defended by Ezeli.. Or who's next? Landry? To small. To me it looks like Tiago will have a field day in the low post.
And yes, Diaw is out of shape. But still he can add spacing and knock down threes and is a great passer. Which of the warrior centers are comfortable defending outside the paint? Bonner can also add this element.
Spurs are very dynamic inside and things look really different when the second unit plays.
But yes, I will credit the Warriors for great guards and shooting and they work at a high pace. But I will admit they have any kind of edge, nor even match, in the frontcourt. Especially not on the offense.
@ajd21 Your correct mad respect to Neal i like his game, Kawhi love his game and future star no doubt. But dude was talking about Splitter and Diaw like we should be scared. They ways u laughing at us with Bogut and Ezeil and bean is how i feel about Tiagooo Splitter in my Steven A voice lol and Diaw