The Western conference semi-final series between the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors switches to Oakland and the Oracle Arena for Game 3 tonight tied at 1-1.
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson shot the Warriors to a Game 2 victory over the veteran Spurs, and San Antonio now faces the prospect of having to win at least one game in one of the loudest and tightest arenas in the NBA.
Game 2 provided clear evidence that this Golden State team can compete with the best in the West and does have a great chance to advance to the Western conference finals. They were fast and played tough defense while shooting the ball beautifully. Curry and co have been guilty of letting big leads slip a couple of times in this year’s postseason, including in Game 1 of this series, but they knocked down all the shots they needed to in an impressive display on Wednesday night.
The Warriors are an exciting basketball team. The back court which features the best three-point shooter in the NBA Steph Curry, another pretty skilled shooter Thompson and a pretty strong back-up presence in Jarrett Jack is regularly raved about, but it is the front court has really come together during the postseason.
When David Lee went down injured in Golden State’s first round series man felt that that was the end of the road for Golden State. However, the play of Andrew Bogut, Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes has made sure that that doesn’t happen. Bogut has provided a physical and tough presence on the inside through these playoffs, while Green is a proven competitor. The big surprise is Barnes, who is averaging nearly 40 minutes per game and 15.1 points per game during the playoffs after playing an average of less than 25 during the regular season and scoring less than 10 points per game. The rookie has provided a great offensive, defensive and rebounding option while playing in the starting line-up with Lee sidelined.
The Spurs will travel to Oakland feeling concerned about the way that this series has gone. They were lucky to escape Game 1 with victory after the Warriors inexplicable collapse and Manu Ginobili’s remarkable three-point winner. However, in Game 2, Golden State didn’t collapse and it seemed like San Antonio just didn’t have an answer offensively or defensively.
It is pretty evident that Gregg Popovich’s ‘big three’ are not particularly healthy. Tony Parker has stepped up in the playoffs compared with how he finished the regular season, but there are still legitimate concerns about where his game is at and possible limitations being inflicted upon him by his fitness. Duncan is and has been playing fantastic basketball all season long. However, he is being asked to take on huge amounts of responsibility right now. The help that was there during most of the regular season simply is not there. The Spurs won’t want to go into Game 6 needing a win to stay in the series. They need to steal Game 3 or 4 to regain home court advantage.
Betting Preview: Golden State (-2) vs. San Antonio
The Spurs didn’t look like they knew what to do against Curry and Thompson in Game 1 or 2. The Oracle Arena is going to be loud and an extremely tough place to play even for a veteran San Antonio line-up.
Gregg Popovich’s team could still a road game in this series, but the feeling is that with Curry and Thompson firing and on this big occasion, the home team will pull through and also beat the spread.
The Pick: Golden State (-2) [5dimes.eu]
Writer Record Against The Spread: 15-7
2013 NBA Playoffs • Golden State Warriors • Klay Thompson • Manu Ginobili • NBA • San Antonio Spurs • Steph Curry • Tim Duncan • Tony Parker