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The Spurs and the awful first date

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The San Antonio Spurs' first game against the Golden State Warriors didn't quite go as planned.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A couple years ago, I had a date lined up with this girl. Any date is an occasion to get excited for, but this one in particular had me feeling good.

I had met the girl though a mutual friend, and in the small amount of time we had spent around each other, we had a good vibe together. She was pretty, seemed to be really nice, and she even laughed at my bad jokes.

I had gotten a haircut that day, ironed out some new clothes, had gotten some new cologne. I was thinking completely positive thoughts and was feeling fresh. Nothing was going to stop this from being a good night.

Things ended up going south quickly.

I'm pretty awkward in person, and I'm terrible at small talk. I try to let the other person do the talking and just play off of what they have to say. But she ended up being just as quiet and awkward as me, so that ended up not being an option.

Predictably, our conversation through the night was spotty, and never really got off the ground. We went to dinner, and it we basically just sat there and went through this routine every couple of minutes.

Me: "So, what do you think of [Random Topic X]?"

Her: "It's cool I guess."

Me: "Oh...that's great, then."

*awkward silence for the next 2 minutes*

Never in my life have I ever eaten more quickly while in the company of someone else. We both sort of noticed that the night was going up in smoke, and decided to just end it. I walked her back to her place, said good-bye, and went home myself.

The next day I texted to apologize for things going so badly, but by then then the damage was already done. Just like that, any chances for a relationship with this girl were cut short. I haven't seen or heard from her since.

For so many folks hyping this game as the best regular season game ever, things got out of hand pretty fast. Aided by a seemingly endless string of unforced errors from San Antonio, the Warriors were able to get out to a double-digit lead quickly, and had the Spurs down 15 at the half.

San Antonio cut the lead to 10 to start off the 3rd quarter. Basketball is a game of runs, and it seemed as if the silver-and-black had sustained the flurry of haymakers, and was ready to go on a tear of its own. However, Steph Curry was having none of that, scoring 10 straight points for Golden State, and extending the lead to 20.

That's the thing about playing the Warriors. At certain points you might think you're about to go on a run to get the game back within reach. But really, the joke is on you. Because the entire game is just one big run by the Warriors. After that scoring outburst by Curry, San Antonio never recoverd, and eventually just subbed in the end of the bench.

Life is fickle in that sometimes the things we've been anticipating the most turn out to be awful. The Spurs seemed to be pretty hyped up for the date, but proceeded to screw it up beyond repair. Regardless of expectations, the evening was over as soon as both teams took the floor.

Luckily for San Antonio, their season is still young. It's only January, and they have 3 more games against the Warriors to try and work out all the kinks. Here's to the second date going better than the first.


David West - 12 points on 6-8 shooting, 5 boards, 1 assist

No one really ended up with a great stat line, but West gets the nod here due to his competitiveness. He got the start for an injured Tim Duncan, and from the jump you could tell that he was one of only a handful of Spurs that seemed ready for this game. While others struggled early, West calmly knocked down jumpers, defended, and did his part to try and give the Spurs a chance.


28: The minute count for Steph Curry, who got his work done early, scoring 37 points on 12-20 from the field, including 6-9 from 3. It's really incredible how any time the NBA blogosphere, hypes up any Warriors' game, Curry comes out and just wrecks shop. He is the most dangerous player in the game, and plays like he knows it -- and relishes it. Watching him objectively is pure fun. Having him go against your team is terrifying.

26: The total amount of turnovers for the Spurs. As good as the Warriors are, a lot of these were unforced errors, with guys throwing wild passes, not receiving the ball cleanly, or making sloppy dribble moves. Golden State, of course, took full advantage, scoring 32 of their points off turnovers.

15: The amount of steals the Warriors had. We just went over how bad turnovers are against the Warriors, but this specific type of turnover, a live-ball one, is particularly fatal. Live-ball turnovers allow the Warriors to do what they do best: Get out on the break, score quickly, and push the pace to a breakneck speed.

+: This isn't a number, exactly, but every single Warrior had a positive +/-, and only one Spur, Rasual Butler, had one, barely, at +2.


  • Tim Duncan's absence tonight was noticeable on both ends of the floor. Even at 39 years old, Duncan anchors the back line of the defense so effectively, communicating with teammates to keep everyone in position, and always putting himself in a position to cut off drives and interior passing. His presence was sorely needed at the rim. Offensively, Duncan isn't depended on as a scorer anymore, but throwing it to him on the block would have been a solid change-up to try and slow down the pace of the game. He also could have helped LaMarcus Aldridge, who had an extremely bad day, by giving him some in-rhythm high-low looks. While Duncan's ability was sorely missed, it was also probably irrelevant. The Warriors had the game on lock from so many angles, and that couldn't be fixed by just one player.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge had an absolute dog of a day, finishing with 5 points on 2-9 from the field, and 3 turnovers. Give the Warriors credit, they were strong in defending him, and when he tried to throw his weight around down low, they didn't move an inch. This is the type of game that the Spurs courted him for. They need him to show up, no matter the pressure level. Aldridge has proven he can score with the starters and the bench, and at the end of the day, this is still just one game. He is still growing into San Antonio's system. The Spurs have to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to get him in-rhythm touches against a high-pressure defense, because he can be an effective player against Golden State.
  • Draymond Green might be the best passer as a roll man in PnR that I've ever seen. As the defense goes out to hedge Curry, he receives the ball and gets his head around quickly, and fires passes with a level of precision that you just don't see from big men. He knows exactly where his teammates are, and leads them perfectly for scores. Having Duncan would have helped out a little bit, but it's touch to defend passes that are placed in perfect position.
  • I've never seen Kawhi Leonard get cooked on defense the way Curry did him, on multiple occasions. Curry is playing at an astronomical level right now, and not even the league's best perimeter defender could contain him. He also had a couple threes that were probably about 33-35 feet deep. Warriors' coach Steve Kerr described this perfectly, saying that Curry's unlimited range "distorts the whole chess board defensively", forcing defenders to come up, opening gaps for his Golden State teammates.