San Antonio Spurs 69-25 (48-44 ATS) at Golden State Warriors 75-15 (45-42 ATS)
When and Where: Sunday, May, 14, ORACLE Arena, Oakland, Calif. 3:30pm EDT (ABC)
Spread: Golden State -10.5; Total 211.5
A year ago, everybody could not wait for the highly anticipated matchup between these two record-setting squads. Golden State had just won 72 games and set the NBA regular season record for the most wins. San Antonio went 39-2 at home, tying the Association’s record for the best home record in league history. The Spurs would end up falling to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals, which prevented the bit-time matchup everybody looked forward to. For what it’s worth, the Warriors would have to ultimately overcome a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Thunder before themselves blowing a 3-1 lead to get Golden State in the Finals against Cleveland. The Warriors won two of the three meetings this year. These teams are all knotted up in the playoffs, with five wins apiece, but San Antonio has dominated the overall series 111-62.
Spurs Ready to Show Up
San Antonio took the first two games from Golden State this season, but were soundly beaten on March 29, in the final matchup, 110-89. Thus far in the playoffs, the second-seeded Spurs took six games to take out Memphis, then another six games to eliminate the No. 3 seed, Houston. The last game was about as convincing as they come, as San Antonio rolled into H-town and put a 114-75 whoopin’ on the Rockets, holding MVP candidate James Harden to a season-low, 10 points.
They will now face a Warriors team that has not played since Monday, while San Antonio played just Thursday. The early start time, however, is not likely to be beneficial to either side. In taking out Houston, it was never really a contest. The Spurs outscored Houston in every single quarter, including the fourth, in which they allowed just 11 points, while scoring 27 themselves. LaMarcus Aldridge continues his surprise comeback by leading the team with 34 points. He also led the squad with 12 rebounds and the squad as a whole hit 53.1 percent from the floor while holding the Rockets to just 28.6 percent shooting, and 13-40 from beyond the arc.
Warriors Wanting another Title
Most of the talk from pundits these days are that the playoffs are really bad and that the Cavaliers and Warriors are bad for the sport of basketball. Whether that is true or not, one thing is certain, Golden State is good . . . if not for basketball, then for themselves. This is the first year in league history that two teams have started off 8-0 in the playoffs, and Golden State is one of those squads. The Warriors seem on a collision course with the Cleveland team that came back and beat them last year, overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. Golden State has taken care of Portland, and then Utah, both in four games, and finishing the series on the other team’s home court each time.
In the series-clinching victory over the Jazz, the Warriors jumped out 39-17 after the first quarter and never really looked back. Stephen Curry finished 30 points, eight of which came from the charity stripe and the squad shot 51.2 percent from the floor. Draymond Green had 11 assists and 10 rebounds to help his squad advance to their third straight conference finals.
San Antonio is:
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games playing on 2 days rest
Golden State is:
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Southwest
- 13-2-1 ATS in their last 16 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
Have you heard Charles Barkley talk about how shitty the NBA playoffs are this season? The truth of the matter is, he is correct. Most games are blowouts, and sadly, with the Warriors being at home for Game 1 of the series, this one will be too. While the Rockets did not put up the challenge most thought they would against San Antonio, they still manged to take two games. The Warriors, meanwhile, won all four games vs. the Jazz, all by double digits, with the largest margin of victory coming in the fourth and final game. Look for a well-rested Golden State team to roll here in Game 1.
Pick: Golden State -10.5
The last five times the Spurs have played in a conference finals game, the under has hit on four of those occasions. The under is also 7-2 in San Antonio’s last nine road contests. With this being Game 1 in Oakland, however, I like the Warriors to explode for a lot of points as they should be well rested and ready for battle. The Spurs may be a little tired but you can still expect them put up their fair share of points too.