The Golden State Warriors faced off against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, and San Antonio got the best of the Conference leading Warriors. Kahwi Leonard and the Spurs held the Warriors to 79 points, the first time in the past two seasons they’ve been held under 80 points in a game. What was almost as impressive, reigning MVP Steph Curry scored an uncharacteristic 14 points on 4-18 shooting, going only 1-12 from beyond the arc. Have the San Antonio Spurs, led by head coach Gregg Popovich, figured out how to beat the Warriors?
Probably not. But this has potential to be one of the best series we’ve ever seen when these two teams inevitably meet in the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors, at 63-7, currently lead the West with the Spurs four games back at 59-11 and the second best record in the NBA. Both teams play tremendous team basketball. While Steph Curry and Klay Thompson headline the Warriors, scoring 30.1 and 22 ppg respectively. They still receive production from All-Star Draymond Green and role players, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala. The Spurs have the young superstar in Kahwi Leonard, who averages 20.8 ppg and is a defensive specialist. They also have their trusty vets with the ageless Tim Duncan, the wily point guard in Tony Parker, and sixth man Manu Ginobili. LaMarcus Aldridge is another veteran that San Antonio acquired this offseason and is putting up nearly 18 ppg for the Spurs this season.
Both teams are deep, and they play unselfish basketball, always looking for the best shot. The Warriors and Spurs are number one and two respectively in assists per 100 possessions. So how do they matchup against one another? The Warriors average a league high 115.3 ppg. The Spurs are eighth in the NBA with 104.3 ppg. However, the Spurs only allow 92.3 points per game, the best in the NBA, whereas the Warriors let up 104.2 ppg, putting them near the bottom of the NBA. This, like we saw Saturday night, is a favorable matchup for the Spurs. The Spurs can certainly beat the Warriors, but I’ll tell you why I don’t think they will.
As we know, the NBA playoffs are a best of 7 game series. Well we have two juggernauts when it comes to playing at home. Following Saturday’s win, the Spurs extended their home winning streak to 44 straight regular season games. The Warriors have an even more impressive 51 straight home wins. And I don’t see either of these streaks ending, at least not during this regular season. I believe that the Western Conference Finals will go to seven games. I believe that the home team will win every one of those games, and in this case, that means the Golden State Warriors will win since they will hold home court advantage going into the playoffs. I also believe that the Western Conference Finals between the Spurs and Warriors will far exceed the entertainment level that the NBA Championship will give us, and has potential for one of the best series the NBA has ever seen. However, upsets do happen, so we may not even see these two go head to head to show who’s the best of the west. But I wouldn’t count on that. Let’s just sit back and watch history happen.