We’re officially halfway through the NBA postseason. Down to the final Western Conference series, and what a series it will be. We’re finally getting a Warriors/Spurs playoff showdown, and it’s topped off with a birth in the NBA Finals on the line. The Warriors have looked every bit of the best team in the league by sweeping through the first two rounds. The Spurs have looked almost as good, showing they can blow out teams, but also pull out close games if needed. The question now is can the Spurs pull off the upset and stop Golden State’s freight train to the finals?
The Case For the Spurs
You would think by now that people would stop underestimating the Spurs. Despite finishing with a better record and having the better team, most expected Houston to be here instead of them, they quickly shut that up. They were able to hold on and beat the Rockets in game five, and then beat them in game six by 39 without Kawhi Leonard. That game six performance by the Spurs showed the biggest case for the Spurs: Depth. The Spurs aren’t only deep; they are skillfully deep. Patty Mills, Manu Ginobili, David Lee and Jonathan Simmons are a few of the role players who can step up and play big time basketball, a luxury Golden State’s bench cannot provide any more.
Another thing the Spurs have going is their size. They are a lot bigger than the Warriors, and they will need to take advantage of the size difference if they want to win this series. LaMarcus Aldridge will have to be the best big man in the series. This series will be made or broken on his back, and possibly his San Antonio career too.
The Case For The Warriors
They are honestly unfair. I don’t know if there is such a thing as being too good, but if there is, it’s the Warriors. They are still undefeated in the playoffs and own the largest point differential too. For the Warriors to win this series, they have to do only one thing: Warrior. If the Warriors can play their style of basketball, running up and down the floor, and continue to knock down threes at a high clip, this series is theirs. They have mismatches all over the floor. Aldridge, Dwayne Dedmon, and Pau Gasol cannot guard either Kevin Durant or Draymond Green, so the Warriors will need to exploit those mismatches.
So who wins? WhyToby??
The Warriors are the heavy favorite in this series and for a good reason. They have the best two players in the series and four of the top five players in it, so they do have the advantage talent wise. But where the Spurs lack in talent, they more than makeup for in coaching. With that being said, I’m still rolling with the Warriors.
If there is any team that can beat the Warriors out west, it’s the Spurs, just not this year. The Warriors are playing their best basketball at the perfect time, and they will overwhelm the Spurs over the course of a series. The Spurs will need Aldridge to be the best big on the floor, and I just don’t have enough faith in him to be that. He’s shown a tendency to play either soft or extremely passive, and I don’t see that changing. I expect Curry to dominate this series. Leonard will probably end up on Durant, leaving Danny Green or Mills to deal with Curry, and neither of them can check him. Plus, it seems like its destiny for Golden State to return to the finals, and the Spurs won’t be the team to derail them.
Warriors in SIX