Good evening sports fans. Who would’ve thought first and foremost that the Golden State Warriors would beat Denver and advance to the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. Now here’s is something no one in the NBA counted on. Who would’ve thought that the Warriors would be facing the San Antonio Spurs in the second round of this years playoffs. Well they did. Are you ready for this. Don’t get me wrong, it is what you thought. The Warriors lost, and now they’ve lost a record 30 times since 1997. But what is real significant is that the Spurs who won, barely got out of the contest without having a heart attack. They did say that Tim Duncan had the flu, but even still, the rest of the team didn’t look like the Spurs we’re used to seeing. The Spurs who are the No.1 seed in the Western Conference, didn’t look like the No.1 seed. As a matter of fact, the best team in the Western Conference had to come from behind to win Game 1, of the Semifinals, of the 2013 NBA Playoffs in double overtime.
What was true is what NBA aficionados figured that the Spurs would win. But it didn’t go the way they said it would. According to the Inside The NBA panel led by Charles Barkley, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, and Shaquille O’neal the San Antonio Spurs should pummel the Warriors. I’m going to go on a limb here, but I’m going to say it now. The Golden State Warriors will win this series. Should I say it again so that it’s clear and my reading audience will know that I didn’t stutter. The Golden State Warriors will win this series, if Mark Jackson can convince this team to play as a team. The reason I say that is because tonight’s contest was really just a matter of playoff experience versus playoff youth. The Spurs obviously playoff experience with Greg Popovich, versus Mark Jackson’s playoff youth. You could tell. Golden State played with the want, the heart and the athletic desire to win the game, but the Spurs played like they’d seen this re-run before.
The Warriors starting guard Steph Curry played brilliantly. He finished with 40 points, 11 assists. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes both had 19 points a piece. Jared Jack finished with 15 points. Andrew Bogut finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds. But the Warriors would need more than just brilliance to take game 1. It showed too. Because with all the great shots that Steph Curry made, he was still new to the playoffs and he’d never been to the second round before. Whereas Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli, Greg Popovich and the rest of the Spurs were well aware that it would take the team to win the game. You could see the differences in the two teams. At the beginning of the third quarter they asked Popovich how they were going too stop Steph Curry. Pop just said, “I don’t know he’s pretty unstoppable.” Then he smiled and said, ” We’ll just have to work together to try to win.” It’s a lesson that Mark Jackson should be teaching his team. Greg Popovich smiled because he knew with everything Steph could do, eventually he would tire out and the Spurs would win as a team.
Tony Parker finished with 28 points, Danny Green added 22 points, Tim Duncan finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. I know it’s hard for us Warriors fans, but it’s a game like this that will define who the team is and where they’re going. This Warriors were ahead with 127-126 with 3.7 seconds left in the game when Manu Ginobli hit a 3 pointer to give the Spurs the win in double overtime. Ginobli finished with 16 points. It was later found out that his shot was not really supported by Coach Popovich. ”I went from wanting to trade him on the spot to wanting to cook breakfast for him tomorrow morning,” Popovich said. ”That’s the truth. When I talk to him and say, ‘Manu,’ he goes, ‘This is what I do.’ That’s what he’s going to tell me. I stopped coaching him a long time ago.” What was also significant is that Ginobli wasn’t hitting any 3 point shots most of the night. That’s why when he had the open look 3, I told my neighbor who was with me watching it, ‘He’s going to hit that shot.” The reason why I knew he was going to make it is because there’s a rule in NBA. Never give to many opportunities to veteran shooter.
You look at all the great shooters of the past, Reggie Miller, Larry Byrd, John Paxon, John Stockton, Ray Allen, and our own Steph Curry who is becoming a great shooter. You ask the defenders that had to guard them and they’ll tell you, never give veteran shooters too many chances because if you do you will pay dearly. Tonight it was Manu Ginobli, and the team that paid was Golden State.” On the last play, it wasn’t for me; they just left me open,” Ginobili said. ”I set a screen for TP (Tony Parker) and they both went with him and left me open on the weak side. When I caught it I just saw Brazemore flying. I just gave it a lot of air and it went in. I wasn’t even an option. They told me just go screen and stay far from the play. The play was for Tony or Boris. And they got confused.”
The reason why I believe Golden State can win this series is, because this happened in round 1 against Denver. The Warriors lost game 1 to the Nuggets by 2 points, but they won the series. Why? Because the outlasted Denver. ”We had a heartbreaker in Game 1 of the last series (against Denver),” Curry said. ”A last-second layup by Andre Miller. So we’ve been here before. But we know how to come back. We’ve been a resilient team all year. To have an opportunity to go 1-1, we still have a chance to do that.” If you didn’t watch the game, you missed just how tired San Antonio was from playing against the Warriors. The Warriors did something that hasn’t been done to the Spurs in a long time, and that is to push the number 1. seed to a double overtime at San Antonio. You could tell because it was affecting the Spurs physically. You should have saw Tony Parker. He was exhausted. That goes for Duncan, and Ginobli. They had to use the young second team just to stay in the game.
San Antonio can celebrate tonight. They got the win. But if Mark Jackson can coach like he’s suppose to, the Warriors can and will win this series. I do think that Mark Jackson should let the press know that the reason why they lost is because he didn’t coach them to play team ball in the last minutes of the game. He should be telling Steph to set up plays and not to take every last shot. He’d already got 40 points. It was time for the rest of the team to contribute. He needs to let him know that no matter how much he wanted to win it’s still the team that wins games not one person. Think I’m lying ask Michael Jordan. Hey, he went 8 seasons without a title before he started playing team ball and then the Bulls won a title. Am I telling the truth or am I just talking? Tell me what you think. Drop me line at our website, and remember, it’s ALLBAYAREASPORTS.COM. Bay Area Sports Magnified!