If you’re one of the people that are surprised that the upstart Golden State Warriors are tied in their second round series two wins each against the San Antonio Spurs, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Not many expected the Warriors to be in position to make the Western Conference Finals.
But by examining some of the trends so far in the series, you can see why Golden State is a legitimate threat to eliminate the Spurs. One of those trends has been the Warriors ability to control the glass.
Golden State has out-rebounded the Spurs in every single game in the series so far; 55-45 in game one, 50-48 in game two, 48-41 in game three, and a whopping 65 rebounds to 51 in Sunday’s game four Warriors victory.
Controlling the glass has given Golden State a counter to their turnover problem that has plagued them throughout the series. For example, the Warriors had game one in the bag and could have been up 2-0, but a fourth quarter collapse where they surrendered a 16-point lead due to sloppy ball handling led to a Spurs win in double overtime.
Most interesting is that the Warriors were supposed to be weaker rebounding the basketball without a fully healthy David Lee, but that hasn’t been the case. Golden State instead has utilized a total team effort to pound the boards; even small forward Harrison Barnes (12 in game one and 10 in game four) and guard Klay Thompson (14 in game two) have registered double-digit rebounding games in the series.
If Golden State can continue to harass Tony Parker and hold the rebounding edge in the series, their chances of getting out of the second round are greatly increased. Given how they have hit the boards in the first four games, there should be little doubt that the trend will end.