Skip to content

Preview: Warriors need to call on their round 1 experience to beat the Spurs

May 8, 2013, 3:00 PM EST

Cory Joseph, Stephen Curry

We always think of the Spurs as the team with experience. They have championship core and all those playoff wins, after all.

But the Warriors have some experience too, especially when it comes to the situation they’re facing heading into game 2 in San Antonio Wednesday night. In their 1st round upset of the Nuggets, the Warriors also entered game 2 trailing 1-0. In that series they also lost game 1 on a last second shot after mostly controlling the action that night. The Warriors went on to win game 2 in Denver, getting the split they needed to take control of the series.

Tonight, then, the biggest thing the Warriors can do is recall on their experiences from the first round and understand that their goals are still attainable. They mustn’t get hung up on how they lost game 1. They lost a big lead. It happens. Their focus instead should be on everything they did to get that lead while understanding they have the ingredients needed to win this game.

This isn’t to say there aren’t adjustments to be made on there end. The Warriors must find a way to get Jarrett Jack going. One of the reasons Stephen Curry wore down by the end of the game was due to the enormous load he had to carry as lead guard with Jack struggling from the floor, shooting only 5-15. Getting Jack free to create going to the rim — especially when Tim Duncan is on the bench — will help generate offense, lightening Curry’s burden in the process.

Golden State must also find a way to find more minutes for Andrew Bogut. While Klay Thompson has turned into the Warriors’ perimeter stopper, Bogut is still the key to their entire defense. It’s no coincidence that the Spurs’ 4th quarter run came with Bogut mostly on the bench. It’s understandable that in a high pace, heavy pick and roll game that Bogut can be somewhat out of place, but he’s too important to keep on the bench for extended stretches, especially when defense and rebounding will be such big keys in beating San Antonio.

On the Spurs’ side, they must also start to make some adjustments. Tony Parker had a difficult time dealing with the length and quickness Thompson offered defensively, only breaking and showing that typical Parker spark after Thompson fouled out. Parker needs to be more aggressive earlier in the clock and find scoring chances before the defense is set, potentially even getting possessions started before that cross-match with Thompson can take place. Parker was at his best when he abandoned setting up in the half court and instead hunted fast break chances — even when he didn’t have a man advantage. He can do that more and should look to.

And even though Duncan had 19 points, they must also find ways to get him easier baskets. Using quick screen actions to free him up going to the post or looking for him more in early offense rather than as an outlet at the top of the key after running drag pick and rolls are a couple of ways to make this happen. Duncan is facing two quality big man defenders in Bogut and Festus Ezili and that showed in his 6-15 shooting line in game 1. But he’s still as crafty as ever in the post with an ability to not only score but to draw fouls.

Defensively the Spurs must also decide what their match ups are going to be. Tony Parker really struggled guarding Curry and Thompson, while Kawhi Leonard did  the best job of all San Antonio defenders on Curry. Don’t be surprised if we see a switch where Curry moves onto Harrison Barnes while Leonard defends Curry full time. Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich typically isn’t fond of switching or tilting his defense too far in any one direction, but in this case Curry is simply too important a player to the Warriors’ success to not do everything possible to limit his effectiveness.

For both teams, it’s all about calling on your experiences to get you this all important win. For San Antonio, they’ve been around the block enough times to know that going up 2-0 puts them in great position to win this series. While the Warriors know that all they need to do is steal this game and they’re suddenly the team with home court and momentum.

Game 1 offered fans the best show of the playoffs to date and we’d all love nothing more than to get a repeat effort from both teams.

Latest Posts
  1. Pacers coach Frank Vogel: ‘very unlikely’ that Paul George plays this year

    Nov 22, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

    Paul George Paul George

    George is trying to get back on the court before the season is finished.

  2. Eric Bledsoe takes a shot to the face on first possession against Sixers (VIDEO)

    Nov 21, 2014, 10:45 PM EST

    Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Clippers Getty Images

    Bledsoe said yesterday that Philadelphia would lose to a college team.

  3. Dwight Howard has plasma therapy (Kobe therapy) on right knee

    Nov 21, 2014, 9:46 PM EST

    Dwight Howard Dwight Howard

    He will not play against the Mavericks, at least.

  4. Michele Roberts: NBA agreed to work with union before attempt to ‘prove its toughness’ with Jeff Taylor suspension

    Nov 21, 2014, 7:30 PM EST

    Michele Roberts, the Executive Director of National Basketball Players Association Michele Roberts, the Executive Director of National Basketball Players Association

    National Basketball Players Association executive director: NBA ‘chose to bend to the pressure it feels from the current media spotlight’

  5. Al Michaels tells story of how Doc Rivers was almost Lakers coach in 2004-05

    Nov 21, 2014, 5:59 PM EST

    Any story that includes a chance meeting and conversation with Jerry Buss outside a men’s restroom is going to be golden.

  6. John Wall: Veteran teammates used to think ‘I was a joke’

    Nov 21, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

    Washington Wizards v Portland Trail Blazers Washington Wizards v Portland Trail Blazers

    Former No. 1 pick knows he fought perception due to Wizards’ struggles

  7. Kobe Bryant says he took large enough discount for Lakers to contend

    Nov 21, 2014, 3:02 PM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Kobe calls owners ability to pressure players into discounts ‘brilliant’ — but it won’t work on him

  8. Report: Jeff Taylor won’t appeal 24-game suspension

    Nov 21, 2014, 2:12 PM EST

    Jeff Taylor mug

    Hornets forward makes right move by accepting lengthy ban

Featured video

Can Rockets, Grizzlies keep up hot starts?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (7836)
  2. D. Wade (7375)
  3. K. Durant (6610)
  4. R. Westbrook (5606)
  5. P. Gasol (5325)
  1. T. Jones (5316)
  2. N. Young (5161)
  3. R. Gay (5051)
  4. B. Beal (4742)
  5. K. Bryant (4741)