#720 Golden State Warriorsvs.#719 San Antonio Spurs
Written by Chris Kubala
San Antonio Spurs (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS, 10-2 O/U) vs. Golden State Warriors (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS, 6-3 O/U)
NBA: Tuesday, May 16, 2017, Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, 9 pm ET
Line: Golden State -13.5; Over/Under: 208
It’s Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals out west. The second-seeded San Antonio Spurs attempt to hand the top-seeded Golden State Warriors their first postseason defeat of the 2017 playoffs when the teams meet Tuesday night. Golden State rallied from a 25 point deficit to down San Antonio 113-111 in Game 1 of the series Sunday afternoon. San Antonio holds a 106-57 advantage between the teams in the regular season, including two of three this season. The teams have split two previous playoff series with the Warriors holding a narrow 6-5 advantage in playoff victories between the teams.
San Antonio had a massive lead, as they held a 20 point edge at the half and a 25 point advantage in the third quarter. Then Kawhi Leonard went down with an ankle injury and things unraveled from that point on. San Antonio couldn’t hold the Warriors down, giving up an 18-0 immediately after Leonard’s injury, and had nothing left in the game’s crucial moments. The Spurs shot 47.6 percent from the floor despite going 7 of 22 from beyond the arc. San Antonio was beaten 43-37 on the glass and turned the ball over 17 times in the game. Leonard led the Spurs with 26 points and eight rebounds: he’s been ruled out for Game 2.
The Spurs are in the middle of the pack offensively in the playoffs, ranking 6th in scoring offense with 106.9 points per game. San Antonio comes in 4th in rebounding with 44.2 boards a contest while the team is 8th in assists with 20.4 dimes per game. San Antonio is 4th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 100.9 points a game. Kawhi Leonard leads the team with 27.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.67 steals per contest. LaMarcus Aldridge contributes 17.7 points plus eight rebounds a night while Patty Mills chips in 10.7 points per game. Pau Gasol has stepped in and averaged 6.9 points and 6.7 rebounds in his first postseason with the team. Manu Ginobili, David Lee, Dewayne Dedmon, Jonathon Simmons, Tony Parker (15.9 points) and Danny Green all are looked at to contribute for coach Gregg Popovich’s team. With Parker out for the rest of the postseason, Mills will slide into the starting role and rookie Dejounte Murray is slotted as his backup. The Spurs are tied for 3rd in the league by shooting 47.3 percent from the field. San Antonio is 10th in three point field goals per game with 8.9 per contest. The Spurs are currently 8th in the postseason by knocking down a solid 36 percent of their long range attempts.
Golden State seemed dead in the water, down 25 points in the third quarter of Game 1. The Leonard injury turned the momentum of the game around as the Warriors came storming back to get the win to improve to 9-0 in the postseason. Golden State outscored San Antonio 71-49 in the second half to get the victory after being stifled in the first half. The Warriors shot 48.1 percent from the floor and hit 11 of 30 three point attempts to help overcome 19 turnovers in the contest. Stephen Curry led Golden State with 40 points while Kevin Durant added 34 in the victory.
The Warriors come into this one #1 among postseason teams in scoring with 115 points per game. Golden State stands 2nd in rebounding with 46 per contest. The Warriors are second in the playoffs by dishing out 26.8 assists a night. Golden State is decent defensively as they are 3rd in scoring defense, allowing 100.1 points a night. Kevin Durant is the team’s second leading scorer this season, posting 24.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. Stephen Curry adds a team high 28.6 points plus 5.7 assists while Klay Thompson contributes 15 points a night. Draymond Green is chipping in with 14.2 points, 8.9 rebounds, 7.2 assists, two steals and 2.33 blocks per game in the postseason. Zaza Pachulia, Andre Iguodala, David West and Shaun Livingston are key complementary pieces for the Warriors’ rotation. The Warriors are second in the playoffs, shooting 48.4 percent from the floor as a team. Golden State is tied for 4th with 11.3 triples a night while the team stands 5th by sinking 37.8 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc.
Golden State is unbeaten in the postseason and they get a wounded Spurs team minus 40 percent of their starting lineup here. The Warriors are an excellent team, as evidenced by back to back NBA Finals appearances and their run so far this postseason. Some of that has to be attributed to luck though as well: teams simply don’t come back from double digit deficits with the kind of regularity we’ve seen from Golden State. The Warriors likely win this game straight up but playing a wounded San Antonio team, one can’t overlook that the team is still dangerous. Take the points and the Spurs if you’re playing the line.
San Antonio is a wounded team but under Gregg Popovich with the next man up theory, the team has plenty of talent to make things difficult for opponents. Aldridge had a big game in Game 6 against the Rockets and continued with a solid showing in Game 1 of the series. He’ll need to step up and contribute a big game again here with Leonard and Parker out of the lineup. Ginobili, Green and Gasol, among others, have to contribute more offensively to help the Spurs keep pace. Golden State took Game 1 despite Klay Thompson struggling as he shot 2 of 11 from the floor and finished with six points. The Warriors have to get him more involved on the offensive end.
The over is 9-1 in the Spurs last 10 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game, 7-1 in their last 8 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game, 5-1 in their last 6 games following a ATS win and 9-2 in their last 11 overall. Golden State has seen the over go 4-1 in their last 5 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game, 5-2 in their last seven overall and 5-2 in their last seven against Western Conference foes. Look for this one to go over the total as offense rules the day once again.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.