The Biggest Match-Up: Golder State Warriors vs San Antonio Spurs
The biggest NBA match-up of this season is yet to come. Starting the first of their four meetings, San Antonio Spurs will be marching into the Golden State Warrior’s lair at the Oracle in Oakland.
The Monday night (Tuesday morning IST) game is certainly going to be exciting where the reigning champions will face the former champions and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr will be against his former coach Gregg Popovich. Warriors are at an impressive 40-4 while the Spurs are 38-6 and neither of them have lost at home.
Here is a look at the both the contenders:
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors are a high functioning unit and they are playing their best basketball. They are quite special in the league because four of their five starters: Curry, Thompson, Green and Barnes can handle the ball and the fifth starter and centre Andrew Bogut has been dishing out some amazing no-look passes. The warrior’s bench, which is led by finals MVP Andre Iguodala, is better that some of the other team’s starters.
The Warriors have always been known for being a good backcourt team and for punishing their opponents in fast break opportunities. The main weapon in the Warriors arsenal is, of course, their point guard and reigning MVP Stephen Curry. He has always had amazing handles, vision of the court and shot making ability. But this year he has improved his range. He is shooting from thirty-five to forty feet distance.
Now this puts pressure on the opponents defence. Leaving Curry open means a basket, going one-on-one with him is extremely difficult and double teaming him at that distance leaves the defence with three players facing four of the offense. They have one major weakness though and that is the number of turnovers they give up. The Spurs are going to be unforgiving if the Warriors falter with the turnovers.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have strong fundamentals and a coach who has revolutionized the game of basketball. The Spurs have all their bases covered this season. Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge are brilliant at the post and front court. Their point guard, Tony Parker is excellent at cutting into the defence and creating opportunities.
They are strong at the back court with Paddy Mills and Danny Green draining three-pointers. There also have the big sizes of David West and Boris Diaw. All in all the San Antonio Spurs are a strong team.
There may be a lot of big names in the roster but the driving force this season is the young Kawhi Leonard. The former finals MVP is someone coach Popovich sends to guard the likes of LeBron James. Leonard is a complete player. He has the size and strength and is also a good ball-handler with the ability to finish and has a good sense of basketball.
While the Spurs play beautiful basketball they lack speed. Most of the team has seasoned players whose bodies have taken a lot of beating. Unless they control the pace of the game they will not be able to beat the Warriors.
The Golden State Warriors have a loyal fan base at home which gives them an immense home court advantage. But if anyone can beat them at the Oracle then it is the San Antonio Spurs. It may be too early to predict this, but this could very well be the Western Conference Finals match-up.