The San Antonio Spurs have been waiting for almost a week to see who they will be playing in the second round of the NBA Playoffs. On Thursday night they found out that they’ll be up against the Golden State Warriors after the Warriors upset the Denver Nuggets in the first round. This will pit the two-seeded Spurs against the six-seeded Warriors.
Despite their difference in seeds, though, this is going to be a tough series for both teams. Golden State is a young and hungry team that wants to prove that their victory in the Denver series wasn’t a fluke and San Antonio is an older and experienced team of veterans that are looking to get it done in the postseason for the first time in the past few years. Given this, the Spurs can’t afford to overlook the Warriors.
The Spurs led the Warriors by 11 games in the Western Conference at the end of the regular season, which could cause San Antonio to somewhat dismiss this Golden State team. However, this isn’t the team that you can do that with. The Warriors are a fast-paced and potent offensive team, much like the Spurs, that can strike at any time and can put an opponent away with one swift flurry of threes.
San Antonio and Golden State both averaged over 96 possessions per 48 minutes this season, but the Spurs were more effective in that style as they had a higher offensive rating and a better defensive rating than the Warriors. However, the Spurs are coming out of a series where they didn’t have to work hard and didn’t look too dangerous while the Warriors just finished a series where they were clicking on all cylinders. Before the series has even starter, Golden State has momentum.
The Spurs will come into this series with an advantage in experience, depth and talent; there’s not much doubt that they are the better team than Golden State. However, they can’t afford to underestimate this Warriors team. They are a hot-shooting and talented offensive team that is built to upset better teams if they get hot. The Spurs have to make sure they prepare and are ready to weather the storm.