The San Antonio Spurs had not won on the road in over a month. Combine that with their inconsistent play on the offensive end and their opponent is one of the best scoring teams in the league, it was a recipe for disaster.
The Spurs could never get it going offensively as they fell to the defending champion Golden State Warriors 113-92 at Oracle Arena in Game 1 of their first-round series on Saturday afternoon.
“They [Warriors] had more grunt, they had more physicality,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “The first quarter we looked like a deer in headlights, very disappointing. I thought we were very prepared physically and mentally but I was mistaken.”
San Antonio struggled offensively from the opening tip, going down 28-17 at the end of the first quarter and shot just 35 percent in the first 12 minutes. The Spurs had just two players in double figures, led by Rudy Gay‘s 15 points. LaMarcus Aldridge added 14 for the Spurs, who never led in the game.
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: Gay, Aldridge, and Manu Ginobili.
- To be honest, not a whole lot of good came from Saturday’s blow out defeat.
- San Antonio’s defense struggled, allowing Golden State to put up 113 points on the afternoon. The Warriors shot 65 percent in the second quarter and seemingly never looked back after halftime.
- Patty Mills and Tony Parker all struggled from the floor, scoring a combined seven points on 3-for-13 shooting. Parker finished 1-for-8 from the floor. Mills played 25 minutes and scored just five points.
- The Spurs had no answer for Klay Thompson or Kevin Durant, who combined to score 51 of the Warriors’ 113 points. Pop put Danny Green on Durant to start but it seemed the former Texas Longhorn had no issues scoring on Saturday.
- Other than Aldridge, the rest of the Spurs’ starting lineup of Danny Green, Dejounte Murray, Kyle Anderson, and Patty Mills shot just 7-of-18 from the floor.
- Overall, Golden State played harder and looked hungry. The Spurs, on the other hand, looked really full.
Three Standout Players:
Rudy Gay is in the playoffs for just the second time in this career and he is looking to do whatever he can to help an offensively challenged Spurs team against the defending champions.
Gay finished with 15 points to led San Antonio. He shot 5-of-12 from the field but was one of the few Spurs who remained aggressive on the offensive side of the ball. He drove the paint, pulled up for three, and showed the impact he can have if the Silver and Black can just find a way to be more of a threat on the offensive end.
LaMarcus Aldridge was determined to right his wrong after his disaster of a performance in last year’s Western Conference Finals against the Warriors. He came into Game 1 and showed what he’d done all season by being the offensive firepower for the Silver and Black.
Aldridge finished with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting to go along with two rebounds. The Spurs forward really struggled against Warriors big man JaVale McGee‘s length as McGee was a force on the inside, finishing with 15 points. Due to McGee causing issues, it forced Aldridge and his teammates to settle for outside jumpers. The problem is that Aldridge really had no other help from his starting five. Outside of Aldridge, the rest of the starters scored just 19 points.
No one can ever question the heart of Manu Ginobili and the heart he played with in Game 1 was obvious. Ginobili finished with nine points on 50 percent shooting as he went 1-for-2 from three-point range. He showed no fear going up against Durant or Thompson, just as he showed no fear his whole career.
This could be the last playoff run for the 40-year-old Ginobili and he is determined to go out by leaving it all on the court. However, he knows exactly what the Spurs need to do in order to get a split and break their road woes.
“We have to come out aggressive…a little desperate,” he said. “We know if we don’t we’ll be going home 0-2.”
The Spurs trail the best-of-seven series 0-1 and will return to the court on Monday night when they take on the Warriors in Game 2 at 9:30 p.m. CDT at Oracle Arena.