Thompson Gives Spurs A Dilemma

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SAN ANTONIO – First it was Stephen Curry practically setting fire to the AT&T Center in Game 1 with his 44 points. Then along came Klay Thompson with his 34 in Game 2.

“I thought it was polite of them to at least take turns and not both be on fire on the same night,” cracked San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

Good one-liner, but a real problem for San Antonio. As the series shifts to Oakland for the next two games, it seems the Spurs are either a defender short or woefully lacking enough firepower to keep up with the Golden State Warriors’ back court.

“I was just trying to do my best to keep up with Steph,” Thompson said. “I’ve seen him do it enough times, so I thought I’d try to see if I could keep up.”

He hardly could have anticipated a 29-point first half, setting a franchise record for a playoff game with eight buckets from behind the arc and the first double-double of his career with 14 rebounds. And let’s not forget the physical, smothering defense that he used all night to throw a wet blanket on Tony Parker.

For Thompson, there was only one thing worse than playing a part in the grand collapse of the Warriors in Game 1. That was not playing a part, which was his burden because he had fouled out and had to watch from the bench.

So, while the rest of his teammates tried to put on a happy face and act unfazed by the double-overtime loss, Thompson wore his disappointment as a hair shirt. He let it irritate him, bother him and prod him on.

“It was tough losing Game 1, because I felt like I was barely out there due to foul trouble, even I did play 32 minutes,” Thompson said. “Watching from the bench is one of the hardest things to do. But I learned from it and I think I showed I learned from it.”

The one he was most proud to show his lessons learned to was his father, ex-NBA star Mychal Thompson, who constants tell him to avoid cheap fouls.

“My dad is my biggest critic,” Thompson said. “Every game he tells me to stay out of foul trouble, so I probably gave him a hemorrhage the other night. I thought I did a good job of not making dumb fouls like I did in Game 1 and I just tried to play hard.”

If Thompson had played any harder, he’d have loosened the floorboards in the court. He made every kind of shot from every spot and every angle imaginable and he was a wrecking ball on defense. He not only disrupted Parker as the initiator of the Spurs offense, but also took turns on wing men Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard. Toss in those 14 rebounds and it was enough to make you shake your head.

“Your stat line,” Curry marveled to his buddy, “is amazing.”

It was the kind of prolific game that his team needed to pull the series into a 1-1 tie, the kind of redemptive effort that Thompson needed personally to feel good about himself again and the kind of display that will have the Spurs scrambling for a solution by Game 3.

Curry blowing up one night, Thompson leaving a mushroom cloud the next.

“I have the greatest shooting backcourt that’s ever played the game,” said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. “Call my bluff.”

The Spurs might not know how.  That’s their dilemma.

39 Comments

  1. eric says:

    Let macrady play popovich and watch im saying san antonio will win this championship trust me povovich macrady is no walk in the park trust me

  2. eric says:

    Popovich put macrady to play man come on remember he needs to replace stepheeln jackson come on dog get it together

  3. jose gonzales says:

    Go spurs go… reality though if miami makes the finals sorry to say but they will repeat..go spurs go…

  4. Peter Baron says:

    I know people thought I was tripping when, after that game 1 heartbreaking loss I said we would win game 2 and 3. But we won game 2 and now will win game 3.

    I’m a hardcore Warriors fan and this team is just unreal. The heart they play with, the fun they have, the short term memory allowing them to move forward is just the best. I took my sons to 2 games during “We Believe” when we beat the Mavs but this is even better.

    Mark my words. D Lee takes the court for 3 minutes tonight. We have not forgot you D Lee you are the Man!

    GO WARRIORS

  5. brooks says:

    ok guys, stop the madness, I hAVE TO SAY SOMETHING UUHH LETS SEE IF THE YOUNG TEAM CAN PLAY FROM BEHIND AND NOTBE UP BY 30, SEE IF THEY CAN STILL MAKE THOSE SHOTS LIKE THE SPURS DO. THINGS GET TIGHTER ON YOU.IF YOU ARE A MEN, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

    SPUR FAN FOR LIFE!!!!

  6. Brad says:

    The Warriors have a lot of firepower. No logical person would deny that. However, with all of their fantastic efforts in Game 2, they only ended up winning by nine. If either Curry or Thompson had been slightly off on their shooting (perhaps scoring 10-12 fewer points), then the Spurs would have won. It seems pretty immature to call this series over, especially since Coach Pop is the greatest coach in North America and one of the greatest sports coaches of all time. He knows how to quietly, methodically forge comebacks while all of the detractors drawn to the flash call the Spurs aging and done.

  7. Kwolio says:

    Pop should try putting T-Mac on Klay on the first three quarters. T-Mac has the size, and barely the speed to match-up (since he offensively can be a jumpshooter at best) like Klay.

  8. Drob50 says:

    As a spurs fan I’ve been worried about GSW. They play with a freedom, a good coach that lets his team be young and praises their youth. They are complete opposites to the spurs who use discipline and familiar routine. The spurs currently remind me of the Suns from a few years ago. Great regular season team but not so in the playoffs. They just don’t have the offensive depth. The Spurs have some great shooters, maybe the best end to end list of shooters but they all need their feet set with exception to Manu. A great young HEALTHY defensive mind team will run them off their lines and they don’t take mid range jumpers, except Parker, so they drive and kick cos out of all the shooters only manu is a threat to finish at the rim, maybe Kawai… The spurs are playing a faster and funner style than a few years ago but they lack the ability to change styles cos pop keeps the offensive simple. They tried slow ball a bit, with TD in the post the other night. It worked a bit but they don’t have the Vets now. When they won their rings the core was young and the rest were vets, now the core is older (I didn’t say too old) and the rest of the team is young. I just don’t think that can work….. However, GSW look streaky, as chuck often says, Live by the jumper, die by the jumper. One cold shooting night in Oakland and it’s game 7 in SA where anything can happen….I still believe… GOSPURSGO!!!… SPURS FAN FROM AUS…

  9. kongo47441 says:

    spurs 1 warriors 1

    heat 1 bulls 1

    okc 1 grizzlies 1

    knicks 1 pacers 1

    heat still title defender and poised to repeat

    okc still poised to reach nba finals

    AND average players come shoot and go

    nba will remain nba ; A VERY VERY BIG GOLDEN POND WHERE ALL GOLDDIGGERS FOUND THEIR LUCK

    • Grizz win it all says:

      Grizzlies are no joke and will be the Westbrook-less Thunder. Heat-Grizz Finals. Not sure of the outcome but it will go seven games, in my opinion.

  10. MIAMI says:

    Klay can really shoot, but mark jackson will have to trade him for upcoming rookie/all star draymond green- just like he traded monta. Miami needs a shooting guard, and will trade for klay with james jones ( almost as good as 3pters as klay) and he also contributes without using stats.

    MIAMI’S PATH TO THREEPEAT
    PG Chris BIRDMAN Anderson
    SG Klay
    SF Lebron
    PF Bosh
    C Wade ( after going to hakeem for post move tutorship, just like lebron- fun fact: wade averaged the most blocks of the BIG THREE and is a dominant shotblocking presence in the lane-almost like dwight howard)

    SIXTH MAN: FUTURE HOF and former allstar Juwan Howard

    THREEPEAT!!!!

  11. Jonathan says:

    And thus begins the GSW bandwagon.

  12. dreballs says:

    im not sure why there are so many people confident about the Spurs comeback. They’ve been blown out two games in a row(they did have one miracle comeback, as Manu said). Why do people think this will change going against the greatest home-court advantage in the NBA. The Spurs three best players are all HUGE liabilities on defense which is an insurmountable dilemma. The Spurs made their game 1 run without Duncan(and he has no hope on the perimeter), Parker is getting posted almost every time, and Manu is just Manu aka avg-below avg on D. The Warrior’s playing with a swing-4 and no David Lee are just more talented than the aging spurs.

  13. QM says:

    As much as it was GSW shooting the lights out, i think their defense is pretty good, having the likes of Barnes and Bogut in the wing the middle makes them a good team, despite having a lot of errors and miscommunication on game 1 defensively, limiting and disrupting a very good offensive fllowing team like Spurs is no joke.

  14. If it’s a debate about the best shooting backcourt, does the Nash-Bell-Barbosa threat of the Phoenix Suns of old count? Those are 3 people of course, but that’s just how they played best. Even their front court could just decide to make a stopover at the line to shoot 3s and mess up any defense.

    How about the Nash-Richardson-Dudley?

  15. realist2013 says:

    Spurs will be fine. You cant sweep every team. Deep solid bench. They had a bad shooting night. They dont panic they got 4 rings under their belt. Good to see Golden State with a good squad. Pop will adjust and then show that fundamental team play that makes the Spurs the “silent killers” they are. I’ve seen them do it too often over the years to doubt them now.

  16. joe says:

    If you are talking about Michael Redd and Ray Allen of the BUCKS, they rarely played together since they were both shooting guards.. At that point , Allen was a starter and Redd was a backup ..

  17. Garifuna says:

    Klay is a good shooter. I think he can even become a great one. Time will tell. If he can do this for the rest of the playoffs It would solidify Jacksons claim a bit, but as a long time NBA fan I’ve seen plenty of guys have a great game in a series, then disappear on you.

  18. El Stone says:

    Mark Jackson is full of poop. Hornacek and Stockton were better shooters than his backcourt. Or how about Jordan and Kerr? Heck, even the mediocre Bucks had a better shooting backcourt (Michael Bell and a little guy name Ray Allen). I’ll gladly give Curry his due. He’s a deadeye shooter. But is Jackson so deluded he seriously thinks Klay “spelled with a K” Thompson is one of the best shooters of all time?

    • chiggaman says:

      you gotta remember tho both thses guys are still young and curry just set a single season record with the 3 ball and is still going bonkers in his first playoffs..
      this is only Klays 2nd year.. he is at 43 40 85 and could easily be a 50 40 90 player next year and curry is a 46 44 90 player so he can be also.. not many backcourts in the nba ever you could say that about

      check hornacek and stocks shooting aves and even though they have more a body of work there % arent better then these guys

  19. Ben says:

    Mark Jackson’s comment about the greatest ever shooting backcourt is definitely beginning to look far less reckless and stupid.

  20. PM says:

    Lol at this overreaction media overreacts so much an average player (but good shooter) got hot one game and all of a sudden Warriors are going to win the series and Spurs have to worry about “a wide array of weapons”. It happened last year too when people were saying the Spurs could go 16-0 in the playoffs then calling them overrated and old after they lost to the Thunder.

    • 34yr fan says:

      ….that’s the way the Spurs have been perceived for the last 5 + years……why should This year be any different. It will come down to whether the Spurs can shoot the ball better on the west coast…… The Spurs won’t lose in SA again…..

  21. ollie says:

    Jason Richardson is the best 3 point shooter of all time or steve nash

  22. J-Short says:

    These guys spell trouble for the Spur, the NBA is all about matchups and if GS win both games at home then dare I says that GS will win this series. Still a lot of ball to play the Spurs are not a chump team and have all of their players and the best coach in the L in my opinion so they wont go away quietly.

    Laker fan since 87′

  23. kang says:

    gogo GSW!

  24. fantasticdan says:

    spurs had a bad night shooting, not a whole lot to do with warrior defense, spurs wont stay cold, pop will find a way to stuff those two fools

    • DubsFan says:

      They had 2 games in a row of bad shooting. Denver also shot poorly during the first round. I think the Warriors defense had something to do with those percentages.

    • Pakyaw says:

      Dude, the warriors schooling the spurs on the last 2 games on their home court…fool

      • 34yr fan says:

        ….”schooling” …………by having guards shoot a high percentage ?…..not hardly !! It is not likely that their guards will continue to shoot a high percentage…….on the other hand..it HAS happened in the past in this game!!

  25. ThunderRocketsFan says:

    I like this GSW team. They play w/ heart every game. Nice to see them progressing. I won’t be surprised if they beat the Spurs. I like the Spurs but GSW is more fun to watch to me.

    • Jimbo says:

      Yes, I think the fav. is Golden State. Spurs are getting old and I think that it is time for Dynasty to come to an end.

      • 34yr fan says:

        ….”You think it is time”????? Well , Join the line…..that is just an echo oromf the pundits for the last 5 years or so. Don’t count them out yet…..because, you know, jump shooting teams live or die by the jumpshot ……. lets just see how long they can shoot ‘lights-out’…… good luck to all…..

    • angelo says:

      i still believe the Spurs will be able to pull this off. GSW started to pull away when Danny Green was in foul trouble. 3 quick fouls at the 1st i think. so kawhi had to switch to Steph leaving Klay with a slower Manu or smaller Neal. if Danny Green could keep away from foul troubles, which is easier said than than but not imposible, the spurs has better chance on, not stopping, but slowing GSWs offense. if only Stephen Jackson is still with the team.