Raise your had if you saw the Spurs obliterating the Warriors at Oracle Arena AKA ROARacle, AKA the second toughest place to play in the league over the last two regular seasons, AKA the spot where San Antonio was hosed by 41 combined last year.
Outside of the crazies, no one saw that coming. Privately I said a 35 point win … for the Warriors.
Quick And Dirty Analysis
The Spurs used their size (two 7-footers!) to bully the Dubs for offensive rebounds. And on defense, they pressured shots at the rim. The stars on both teams were bright — KD had 27, Draymond Green had 18, Kawhi had 35 (career high), LMA had 26 and 14. But the Spurs role players stepped up. Jonathan Simmons had himself the game of his life, scoring on his first six shots and blocking reigning two-time MVP Steph Curry on a chase down in the first half.
Implications For The Rest of the Year
The Spurs played hard and were locked in the way a team trying to prove something usually is. The Warriors played like they won the title and had a ring ceremony to begin the night. That is only somewhat reaasonable since they probably felt like they won the off-season championship by signing Kevin Durant. That is understandable.
They were nigh-guardable offensively in the first half. Kevin Durant showed signs of being the defensive powerhouse that he displayed in last year’s playoffs, but the sheer size of the Spurs lineup, combined with the hustle of the role guys suggested that the Warriors have a book on them now. Go big, beat them up inside, have an MVP candidate run the offense (LeBron, Kawhi, Russ).
For the good guys, everything was coming up Spurs … unless you look at Pau Gasol’s +/-, which was a ridiculous -13 for the game. In a 29-point blowout win, that is completely insane. The Dubs targeted his defense nearly every time he was on the floor and found success more often than not. This was all as feared. He is slow laterally, and while he challenged shots at the rim, he is not useful enough in other situations to make him worth playing. The thinking was that he could balance those defensive deficiencies with offense. It was a reasonable assumption, given that last year’s Spurs could not score worth a damn against this GSW team. Later against OKC it was similar.
Tonight, none of that mattered.
That Jonathan Simmons unnecessary dunk was disrespectful hhahahaha. I loved it. No one can tsk tsk the dude because going hard all the time is how he got to this point. Anything else is being untrue to himself. Dunk on ’em, Simmons.