It may seem easy to analyze after the massive defeat San Antonio suffered last night against Golden State, specially with the big absence of Kawhi Leonard, but the truth is it’s slightly a bit more complicated…or not?
Let me explain;
Golden State has one of the best -if not the best, rosters of the league and yet we still haven’t seen the full potential of it during the Playoffs, as Klay Thompson is tryimg to find his way to connect with his average shooting %. With this, and with a starting line-up were no C takes real place -Pachulia is barely averaging 10min per game, the main core of the Warriors is the amazing “Fab 4” with a little of extra help each night from one of the luxurious bech players: Iguodala, West, Clark, Livingston, McGee… OK, nothing really new has been said. I give you that, but think of it for just one second: if GSW are massacring their rivals -except the 1st WFC game, is because of just three players (Curry, KD and Draymond Green) and they seem not to need nothing really special or extra to do so…and Steve Kerr is out indefinitely. So to face a 2-0 at this point may be nothing else but just routine if it wasn’t because of San Antonio’s manager is Mr.Greg Popovich by far, the best Head Coach of the last decade and one of the most talented and special person NBA has seen. With a roster that no one else would have managed like this -be honest SA’s bench is clearly some steps behind other contenders, he has taken the team to another title stage with only Kawhi and work, a lot of work.
So if Leonard isn’t ready for 3rd game, their chances to succeed drastically will decrease due to teams comparisons, despite some stats from yesterday’s game were equally matched: rebounds or turnovers, for example.
Seems a pretty hard work to make Golden State play their pace-controlled-game for more than a couple of games, with a bigger apportion from the big men (Gasol, Dedmond, Lee) and Simmons cannot be leading bench solutions on his own, even though Ginobili seems to be perpetually living a “Benjamin Button” phase.
So my keys for this 3rd game will be:
- Force GSW to play 5vs5 offenses
- Control of TO, not allowing of 2nd chances.
- Perimeter defense intensity.
- Big Mens importance: LaMarcus and specially Gasol have to dominate the paint.
- To stay concentrated during 48min. Warriors can blow their chances away with some few good % shooting, so this seems to be even more important.
- Have Kawhi healthy for the rest of the series.