THE BLITZ 05.17.13
Golden State Warriors (Lose Western Conference Semi-Finals 4-2 to the San Antonio Spurs)
-The Warriors lost a tough series to the Spurs, ending a remarkable and memorable season in the Bay Area. The Spurs were just too much for a Warriors team that was battling injury throughout the playoffs.
Game 3 (Warriors lose 102-92)
-The Spurs take Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead over the Golden State Warriors. The Spurs showed they had much more energy than the younger Warriors, shooting over 50% from the field. They held the Warriors to a series low 39%.
-Tony Parker dominated this game scoring 32 points, a whopping 25 in the first half but the biggest concern for the Warriors wasn’t the loss to San Antonio in Game 3 but an issue that had been lingering all season, Stephen Curry’s ankle.
-Earlier in the playoffs against the Nuggets, he rolled his right ankle in Game 2. It didn’t seem to bother him in that series but in this game, he rolled his right ankle again and seemed like he could barely walk, let alone play basketball.
-The Spurs got out to their best start of the series, leading the Warriors 32-23 after one quarter and the Warriors were never able to get back in the game either because if they would get close and San Antonio would go on a run.
-The other scenario was they would get close and they would become careless with the ball and turn it over, Jarrett Jack was the main culprit when this happened in Game 3.
Harrison Barnes: 12 points, 8 rebounds
Andrew Bogut: 11 points, 12 rebounds
Stephen Curry: 16 points, 8 assists
Klay Thompson: 17 points, 8 rebounds
Jarrett Jack: 11 points
Carl Landry: 14 points, 7 rebounds
Game 4 (Warriors win 97-87 OT)
-The Warriors came back much like the Spurs did in Game 1, erasing an eight point deficit with 4 minutes left in the game and forcing overtime.
-In overtime, the Warriors dominated the weary Spurs, outscoring them 13-3 in the overtime period on their way to a 97-87 victory and evening the series at two.
-Curry, a game-time decision after injuring his right ankle in Game 3, played great, scoring 22 points, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out 4 assists. Curry struggled in the first half scoring only 6 points, taking 3 shots. His ankle was clearly bothering him in the first half but in the second half, Curry exploded for 16 points and finishing 5-10 from three point range.
-When Curry wasn’t hitting jumpers, the Warriors exploited the mismatch between Harrison Barnes and Tony Parker. The Spurs were so worried about Curry and Thompson; they failed to account for the young phenom, Barnes. As a result, Barnes had his best game as a pro scoring 26 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. He constantly put Parker in the post, dominating the matchup by shooting over him and driving by him for dunks and layups.
Barnes: 26 points, 10 rebounds
Bogut: 5 points, 18 rebounds
Thompson: 10 points, including a crucial layup with 30 seconds left to tie the game at 84 over the great defensive effort of Kawhi Leonard.
Curry: 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 5-10 from three point range, gave the Warriors a nine point lead in the overtime after an and-one layup over Tim Duncan to put the game out of reach for the Spurs.
Jack: 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, had a chance to win the game for the Warriors in regulation but missed a fade away twenty footer at the buzzer.
Game 5 (Warriors lose 109-91)
-The Spurs took home court advantage away from the Warriors after a convincing win in San Antonio, 109-91. The Spurs started off strong, much like they did in Game 3, with an impressive 37 point first quarter to put them up by nine after the first quarter.
-The Warriors made little runs here and there but were never able to catch up to the Spurs, a desperate team looking like they really needed to win this game in order to win the series.
-The Warriors played their worst game of the playoffs, getting disappointing games from their top players throughout the playoffs. Curry scored only 9 points, Thompson only chipped in with 4 points and Andrew Bogut played sparingly and scored 2 points.
-Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green were the main culprits on why the Warriors backcourt struggled so much in Game 5. Add Curry’s ankle injury to the equation and you have your worst shooting night for your starting backcourt.
Barnes: 25 points, 7 rebounds
Landry: 16 points, 6 rebounds
Jack: 20 points, 4 rebounds
Game 6 (Warriors lose 94-82)
-In the last game at Oracle Arena and for the season, the Warriors lost a tough game to the San Antonio Spurs, 94-82. The Warriors kept close in the first half, led by their point guard Stephen Curry, who scored 16 points in the first half. He hit a few jumpers but most of his damage came when he drove down the lane for layups over the Spurs defense. He only scored six points in the second half because the Spurs defense against him.
- Late in the first half, Boris Diaw drove the lane and Barnes went up to the block the shot but was upended and fell on his head. He laid motionless on the ground for several minutes but eventually got to his feet and walked to the locker room with a cut above his left eye that required stitches. At the start of the third quarter, he came into the game and played the entire quarter until he told Mark Jackson that he was experiencing headaches, sitting out the rest of the game.
-It seemed as though Barnes had sustained a concussion on his fall but he passed all the tests before the second half began.
-Once again, the Warriors struggled from the field, shooting only 39% due the great defense of the Spurs and the tired Warriors taking too many jumpers.
-The Warriors cut the Spurs lead to two in the fourth quarter but could never tie the game with Curry and Thompson narrowly missing threes that went in and out.
-The Spurs iced the game by hitting three corner threes, two by Tony Parker and one by Kawhi Leonard.
-Like in Game 5, Andrew Bogut and Klay Thompson struggled combining for just 13 points on 5-15 from the field. Thompson could not shake Leonard’s defense and Bogut was really bothered by his ankle injury and could barely move on the floor.
Barnes: 9 points, 4 rebounds
Thompson: 10 points, 3 assists, shot 4-12 from the field
Curry: 22 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds
Jack: 15 points
Landry: 11 points
Lee: 9 points, 5 rebounds
-The Warriors future is very bright after an incredible and memorable season in 2012-2013. They will bring back their starting five, led by Stephen Curry, who showed the world that he is a top 15 player in the NBA and for the first time in his career, he will not have go through surgery on his ankle. He will be even better next season because he will get to free throw line more and will become an even better point guard.
-Klay Thompson also had a very impressive season, becoming the starting shooting guard in only his second year as a pro, replacing fan-favorite Monta Ellis. He improved so much over the season by getting to the hoop more and playing excellent defense against the best players in the league.
-Harrison Barnes is going to be a star in this league sooner rather than later. He has an unbelievable ability to get to the paint and finish with monstrous dunks. His shot is pure and is only going to get better with experience and practice. He gives the Warriors a post-up presence at the small forward, something they have never had in recent memory. This All-Rookie First Team player is only going to get better and the Warriors have a small forward for many years to come.
-David Lee was an All-Star this season and would have contributed much more to this team in the playoffs if it wasn’t for his significant injury tearing his right hip flexor. Lee is a double-double machine and I look for him to have an even better season next season because of all the weapons the Warriors have on this team.
-Andrew Bogut showed everyone during the playoffs why the Warriors traded for him last season. He was a beast in the paint, grabbing double digit rebounds almost every game and dunking on anyone and everyone who was in his way. The only problem with Bogut is like Curry is injury prone. Hopefully an offseason can reverse that trend and we will a much healthier Bogut next season.
-Jarrett Jack was the heartbeat on this team and it is essential that the Warriors re-sign this guy. He brought a toughness and leadership to this team that we haven’t seen in the Bay Area since Baron Davis from the We Believe years. He was so clutch this season and even though, he may dribble the ball too much and turn the ball too many times throughout a game, it would be a huge loss for this team if he went to another organization.
-Carl Landry brought the same type of attitude that Jack brought to this team. He was a beast in the paint, showing off his guns every time he made a big play. He may leave this team in the offseason in order to get a starting role with another team, but he was a major reason why this team made the playoffs.
-Brandon Rush will be major part of this team next season after missing almost the entire season with an ACL/MCL injury. He was posed to have a breakout year for the Warriors but hopefully that breakout year will be next season. Rush provides the Warriors with even more three point shooting and an ability to get to the hoop. He was also their best perimeter defender two years ago and will hopefully provide that same defense in 2013-2014.
-Draymond Green played OK in the regular season, really struggling with his shot, especially from three point range but in the playoffs, he was key to the Warriors success. He shot unbelievably well from three point range against the Nuggets and provided an energy unmatched by anyone except for maybe the fans at Oracle Arena.
-Festus Ezeli kept the Warriors afloat during the regular season at the center position because for most of the season, Bogut was hurt. Ezeli provided a defensive presence in the paint for the Warriors and would be good for at least one emphatic dunk a game.
-Kent Bazemore did not play much this season but when he did, he contributed a lot to this team. He almost won Game 1 for the Warriors with his layup with less than 4 seconds left in the second overtime against the Spurs. Like Green, he had an infectious energy that everyone felt and was the lead cheerleader on the bench, getting under the skin of many Warrior opponents.
-Mark Jackson was an incredible coach for this team this season because from Day 1, they bought in to what he was selling to the team. He made this team tough and defensive basketball that rebounded incredibly as opposed to previous seasons. He made this team play aggressive on the offensive end and gave confidence to every single player on this team from Stephen Curry all the way down to Andris Biedrins. He never said one bad thing about his team and had his team’s back when calls weren’t going their way, when some Warriors did not get the recognition they deserved and telling everyone that would listen that the Warriors were a good basketball team. He put a chip on each guy’s shoulders by saying the experts expected them not to make the playoffs but they made the playoffs. Then the experts said they would not beat Denver and then that occurred. The experts said they wouldn’t beat the Spurs and that did happen but I have no doubt if the Warriors were healthy they would have the Spurs. Jackson gave his team and the fan base that belief that they could compete and beat anyone in this league.