2018 NBA Playoffs: Position-By-Position Breakdown Of Golden State Warriors-San Antonio Spurs
Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs
2018 NBA Playoffs Positional Preview
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The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs meet in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.
Point Guard - Without Stephen Curry, you have to give the point guard edge to Patty Mills and the Spurs. Quinn Cook has been solid in his playing time, but he lacks the experience and overall playmaking ability at this point to really trust him in playoff games. Mills is proven in big spots, makes big shots and can breakdown a defense.
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Shooting Guard - Dejounte Murray is one of the young faces who will be the future of the Spurs. Kid is really talented. Klay Thompson in one of the top shooters in the league and a guy who consistently takes over games. Thompson also usually guards the teams best offensive player, putting his fingerprints all over the game.
Small Forward - Danny Green is still a solid defender, but his shot hasn’t been falling as consistent this season and he doesn’t give the Spurs a needed offensive boost. On the other side, the Warriors have Kevin Durant, who is a top-five player in the world. This matchup isn’t close unless Kawhi Leonard decided to play.
Center - Zaza Pachulia isn’t good for anything other than being physical and hurting people, and then saying he didn’t hurt the opposing player on purpose. Pachulia is a clown and has no skill set whatsoever. Pau Gasol isn’t as effective as he was years ago, but at 37 years old, he’s still a double-double machine and stretches the floor with his mid range game. Gasol is still productive and will be key for the Spurs making this a series.
Power Forward - Draymond Green is one of the better defensive players in the league and brings this toughness to the Warriors that’s much needed. An energy spark. LaMarcus Aldridge is enjoying his best season since his Portland days and has had many games down the stretch where he’s downright dominated and looked like the best player on the floor. If that Aldridge shows up for this series, the Spurs could make things mighty interesting. Close, but Aldridge impacts the game more to me in this series. Green has struggled at times without Curry.
Bench - The Spurs usually get the most out of their bench, but Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are washed up, while Green and Kyle Anderson are hit or miss. Rudy Gay is the only Spurs player you can really trust, but he has to improve his poor 31.4 percent shot from deep if he’s going to impact this series. These injuries have made the Warriors a deeper basketball team, as Andre Iguodala, Nick Young, David West, Omri Casspi and Shaun Livingston all see meaningful minutes and have their moments. I’m not sure those are guys I can count on constantly, but it certainly beats what the Spurs have to offer.
Coach - Gregg Popovich is often considered the best coach in the NBA, and it’s tough to bet against his teams no matter the situation. He finds ways to be competitive and get the best out of his players. Steve Kerr is still new to the coaching scene, but he’s earned your respect and has proven he’s a brilliant basketball mind. There’s a reason Kerr took over pretty much the same team that Mark Jackson had and won 16 more regular season games. There’s no clear edge here, as both are great.
Overall - Warriors in 6 (Without Curry playing, this series is wide open if Kawhi Leonard decides to return. The problem is if Leonard was going to play this season, I think he would have done so by now. The Spurs are well coached and experienced enough to steal a pair of games, but Durant and Klay are too much firepower to be held down for long. Spurs need that extra guy to put them over the top.)