To discuss today’s game and the first round series between the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors, I once again turned to Poor Man’s Commish, who runs Let’s Go Warriors. Here are his questions to my answers on the series.
1. How big of a loss is Stephen Curry for the first round and do you attribute the Warriors losing 10 of their last 17 without him?
If it weren’t the fact that the game in which he got injured was his first game back, I might have said it was more of a team thing, but Steph went nuclear when he got back from the first ankle injury. The pace, the joy of the Warriors revolves so much around Steph and so, yeah, while I normally don’t like to make specific excuses, I’m going to pin the 7-10 close-out on his absence.
2. The Spurs are obviously without Kawhi, but do they have anything you see that they could use to their advantage that would “exploit” Curry being out?
I’ve been going back and forth on this, but listening to “JD” (John Dickinson) on 95.7 The Game this morning, I’m thinking Pop would rather stay small and force the Warriors to play that fast tempo without Curry than, say, start Pau and go big, slow the game down. What JD said is that the Spurs don’t want the Warriors to find their defensive mojo. Reducing the radius of the game, as Kerr would say (he says that about older eras of the NBA, for example) would have the Warriors buckle down on defense. Pop should avoid that and take their chances that the Warriors don’t suddenly find their offensive groove with the 3-point shooting in transition, for instance.
3. While everyone would love to see a KD vs. Kawhi matchup, we won’t get that, so one of the better matchups likely pits Aldridge, who has had a stellar year, against Draymond Green? How do you see that playing out?
Flip a coin, but that’s about as good as you can ask for because we all know, good offense beats good defense. I’d actually say 51-49% in favor of Draymond. I haven’t seen LMA much this year, so I don’t know how he’s performing in the clutch, but Draymond has gotten into his head before when LMA was at Portland.
4.Earl Watson recently said he doesn’t expect the Warriors to make it out of the first round. Is Curry being out fool’s gold for some people expecting an early exit even though the Warriors will still have three healthy all-stars?
Not to be mean, but any other team in the first round other than the Spurs, I might’ve been worried. It’s just because the Spurs don’t have as much talent as the other playoff teams. And Kawhi is that good that he makes all of his teammates better. The Warriors still have KD and now the No. 2 scorer is Klay. I actually like Earl Watson. I know people who know him. But I don’t know what he was thinking!
5. The Spurs have struggled on the road and will start on the road. In my opinion, it’ll be hard to match the Warriors’ firepower as well so I’m picking Warriors. What’s your prediction?
I’m gonna go 4-0 but that’s not intended to be a knock on the Spurs. It’s just that I feel like the Warriors want and have an opportunity to get their swag back, and this is their chance to lock in and show us they were, in fact, not motivated at various stretches of the regular season. However, if I’m taking emotion out of it, then I’ll go 5 games for the same reason in that they’ve shown so many times in the regular season to let up (a lot) on gas pedal.