Can you feel it? It’s in the wind blowing around an empty AT&T Center parking lot beckoning the boys back home. It’s where the Spurs play best. And the best is what is needed to host the kind of game that will make everyone —EVERYONE— think again before writing the Spurs off for the for the infinite time.
San Antonio Spurs (7) @ Golden State Warriors (2)
April 19, 2018 | 8:30 PM CT
Watch: FSSW, TNT | Listen: WOAI
Warriors lead series 2-0
Spurs Injuries: Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management), Joffrey Lauvergne (personal)
Warriors Injuries: Stephen Curry (MCL sprain), Patrick McCaw (back), David West (ankle- questionable)
The Spurs must keep adjusting
Now keep in mind: I’m a homer. I’ll always seek the loophole that brings the Spurs a W. So with that, let start with the monster improvement from LaMarcus Aldridge in Game 2. Complete turnaround from Game 1. Meanwhile, his counterpart JaVale McGee came back to earth (because only in an alternate universe does he outscore LMA for a series). Aldridge’s aggressiveness also caused foul trouble to his defenders. If he can bring that same intensity, the Spurs big men should prevail.
Adding Rudy to the starting lineup brought more scoring. That said, Rudy needs to score more. But I’ll take less on the offensive end if he can slow down Kevin Durant. And right now he’s one of the best bets to slow down the most elite shooter in the game. Add Danny Green and Davis Bertans for the trade off and you have a better opportunity to make KD work for his shots instead of breezing over Mills and Forbes.
Speaking of, Patty Mills scored 21 points in game two. That’s awesome. In every Spurs postseason upset, one or more players has their game of the year. I know it’s asking a lot but Patty needs to have that game again. And he can do it. He’s the spark plug.
Bryn Forbes had a rough outing on Monday which says to me tonight will be different. If I’m being honest, I think this is his game to own. The Warriors defense has been suffocating, but when you double Aldridge and you can’t leave Gay alone, Forbes is your sharp-shooter. Run him off the line? No problem, he has a graceful floater that serves him well.
Now, as for the Warriors- Klay Thompson, we get it. You’re amazing. You’re the best catch-and-shoot three-point shooter in the league. And you move so well without the ball. It’s like no one can keep up with you. But you always have one bad game in a series. Tonight is your night to have that bad game. We all know that face, when Klay has the bad game and he is having an inner monologue where he’s beating himself up, right?
Yep, that’s the one. The Spurs need to make him look like that a lot tonight. I am going to be so bold as to [Editor’s note: wait for it...] predict that Forbes outscores Thompson making him the #11 of the night. But that’s just me, I’m sure some Pounders will disagree appropriately in the comments.
And finally, Draymond Green. Okay, so he’s already wound up. And there’s nothing like a wound up Dray, because his impulses can often get the best of him. Put Bertans on him from the tip off until he loses it and has to be escorted from the court. If that isn’t enough, let Manu show him the “Anthony Davis” treatment. That will be your series turning point. We’ve seen the momentum shift before and stems from Green’s inability to exercise sportsmanship.
Pair an ejected Green with the absence of Steph Curry, a side of Bad Klay Day, and sprinkle in a limited Kevin Durant and impossible becomes possible.
The “count them out” becomes “let’s see what else they’ve got”.
Or as Pop said it best, from “poor me” to “screw you”.
Vegas odds: I don’t care, I’m looking for odds to be defied.
Game Prediction: Spurs by ANYTHING. Just make it happen.
For the Warriors fans’ perspective, visit Golden State of Mind.
As always Tony must dominate Fisher.
PtR’s Gamethread will be up this afternoon for those who want to chat through the game. You can also follow along with the action through PtR’s Twitter feed.