After losing the first game 113-92, the San Antonio Spurs (0-1) will look to even the series on Monday night as they travel to the Oracle Arena to take on the Golden State Warriors (1-0) in game two of this best of seven opening series. The tipoff is scheduled for 10:30 pm ET.
The spread comes in at the San Antonio Spurs +9.5 and the Golden State Warriors -9.5. The over/under for total points scored is set at 205.
San Antonio Hopes to Figure Out Warriors Defense
While the Spurs struggled to find a way to stop both Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, their biggest woes came on the offensive side. The Warriors played a relentless, swarming defense from the opening tip and were able to get the Spurs flustered early. Without Kawhi Leonard, who is out for game two, and likely the entire playoffs, the Spurs have to find ways to get big games from LaMarcus Aldridge if they have any chance of having success.
In game one, the combination of Draymond Green, JaVale McGee and Kevon Looney were able to hold him to just 14 points on 5-12 shooting. Every time he caught the ball he often faced a trap, and the length of the Warriors were able to keep the Spurs’ outside shooters from getting too open of looks.
The leading scorer for the Spurs in game one was Rudy Gay, who scored 15 points on 5 of 12 shooting and also added 6 rebounds. While Rudy Gay is a really nice player to come off the bench for a playoff team, if you are relying on him to be your leading scorer against the defending NBA champs, you are in for long nights. Bryn Forbes also added 14 points in the loss.
Warriors Look to Take Commanding Lead
It really just seemed as if the Golden State Warriors were bored to end the regular season. After having gone 4-6 in their last 10 games of the season in route to a 58-24 record overall and the second seed in the Western Conference, some were unsure if the defending NBA champions had what it take to repeat. A dominant performance on Saturday night may have laid some of those critics to rest.
Klay Thompson led all scorers with 27 points, shooting 11 of 13 from the field and 5 of 6 from behind the three-point line. Additionally, Kevin Durant (24 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists), Draymond Green (12 points, 8 rebounds, 11 assists), JaVale McGee (15 points) and Shaun Livingston (11 points) had big contributions in the game.
One of the most interesting parts of this game, though, was probably the starting lineup. Coach Steve Kerr put out a starting lineup that had not played together once the entire season. With Steph Curry still sidelined for this opening round, the starting lineup included Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, and JaVale McGee.
Coach Kerr really went with his best defensive lineup to start the game, and it worked. The Warriors held the Spurs to just 17 points in the first quarter and 41 in the first half (allowing the Warriors to go into the locker room at halftime with a 16-point lead. In fact, the Warriors won every quarter but the last, but by that point, the game was well out of reach.
Golden State Rolls to Victory
Frankly, I think the Golden State Warriors run through this series pretty easily. With the Spurs’ best player being out and a roster full of aging veterans, I just don’t see how they can keep up with the Warriors, even without Curry. Coach Popovich is too good to not make adjustments and I expect the Spurs play better, but I still just think the Warriors are too much for them to handle on both ends of the floor. Take the Golden State Warriors -9.5.
If betting the over/under on total points, I am going with the over. For a team that lights it up as well as the Warriors (they ranked 4th overall during the regular season in adjusted offensive rating according to basketball-reference.com), I think they help carry the Spurs to cover the 205. Take the over.