The San Antonio Spurs suffered a 112-101 loss against the Golden State Warriors in a most-anticipated preview of a potential Western Conference Finals matchup last night in Oracle Arena.
The second loss the Spurs suffered in Oakland this session also came on the day the Warriors clinched the top spot in the conference and reached the coveted 70-win mark. Seventy wins in a season is quite the feat, but in order to set a new league record, the Warriors must win all three of their remaining games.
All of what’s stated above you all already know. I’m not going to keep stating what’s already know. That’s not why I’ve written this post. Instead, once again, I’m here to provide sanity to Spurs fans everywhere by letting you all know, the Spurs are doing just fine. Just keep calm, and believe in your team!
Now, I’m the first to admit that I wanted a different outcome last night. Of course, I’d love to see the silver and black tearing up the court like I know they can. I would’ve been thrilled to see the best defense in the league that was visible in the last Warriors/Spurs meeting. It also would’ve made me happy if our guys had made their free-throws, had been more consistent on field goals, and sunk a few more threes than they did last night.
I’m sure all fans will agree with me when I say that the Spurs did not play their best game. Is that a good enough excuse when playing against a possible WCF opponent? No! Of course it isn’t! Still, there are a few obvious reasons this game played out as it did and let me explain why.
First, Boris Diaw is a force to be reckoned with. Whether his impact comes from his much-appreciated points in the paint, especially off second chance opportunities, or his defensive prowess against any defender, the Spurs definitely missed Boris last night. He played a critical role in the March 19 win especially on defense. Single handedly, his presence will impact Sunday’s meeting, and those in the playoffs, in favor of the Spurs.
Second, the Warriors played like there was no tomorrow. I’m assuming they did this in order to reach win #70. Or, maybe the reason 4 out of the 5 Warriors’ starters played 30+ minutes was to stay on track to beat the 1995-96 Bull’s 72-10 record. Whatever the case, they didn’t want to spare even their best player. Steph Curry played 36 minutes while his sidekick, Klay Thompson, played 35. For a team that led most of the game, a lead as big as 20 points at one point, they sure didn’t want to rest their stars.
Third, this loss gave the Spurs what they need. With an opportunity to do what no team has ever done in NBA history, the Spurs have the chance to go undefeated at home. They will play the Warriors on Sunday at 6 p.m. in their penultimate home game. Last night’s game will motivate the guys to prove themselves against the Warriors in a way that I’m not so sure would have happened if they had won last night.
Can they do it? Of course they can. They know they can. They know they can beat the Warriors, they know how to do it, and they know what adjustments must be made. Sunday’s game will interesting and exciting, for sure. After Sunday, the Spurs take on the Thunder on Tuesday in a final regular season home game.
Now, I would like to leave you with a quote by the rebound NBA Hall of Fame center, Shaquille O’Neal:
“Pop plays chess, not checkers.”
This chess match is definitely one for the ages. GO SPURS GO!