Blogtable: Spurs or Warriors out West?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.


BLOGTABLE: Spurs or Warriors out West? | Upset-minded East team? | Lasting moment of 2014-15?



VIDEOThe Warriors can’t wait for the 2015 playoffs to begin

> The defending champs are red-hot and can lock up the No. 2 seed in the West with a victory tonight at New Orleans. So who’s a better bet to win the West: the Spurs or the Warriors?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.comI vowed not to count out San Antonio a couple of years ago (or was it back in 2007?). The Spurs know what they’re facing at this time of year, they’ve been there/done this and coach Gregg Popovich has his team rested, prepared and peaking. Two months is a long time to maintain a peak but — aside from the level of competition now — the schedule becomes more geezer-friendly. Golden State has been great fun and I’d welcome watching them for four rounds, but if I have to “bet,” give me the Spurs.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comIt’s certainly hard to pick against the team that’s been the best in the league since opening night. But the one thing the Spurs have never done during that long run is win back-to-back. Now that they are healthy, in rhythm and playing at the top of their game, I’m sticking with the defending champs in what should be a very tasty Western Conference finals. 

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com: The Warriors. Spurs fans shouldn’t whine the choice into “We’re being overlooked again.” San Antonio was my pick at the start of the season to win the West (and lose to Chicago in The Finals.) No one should be surprised that San Antonio is peaking for the playoffs. I just think Golden State has proven it is the best team in the conference. The Dubs win win offense, win with defense, have chemistry and a great home court.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com: Right now, I like everything about the defending-champion Spurs. They’re surging at the right time, they’re healthy, their role players are dripping confidence and Kawhi Leonard is reborn. Did I leave anything out? Oh, yeah: Tim Duncan and Pop, both championship-tested and approved, are anxious to go back-to-back. The Warriors must navigate through places they’ve never been in the post-season, and I need to see them make it through San Antonio without sprouting a nervous tic.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Golden State. What the Spurs did in last year’s Finals was an incredible display, and they’re heading back toward that level with how they’ve played over the last month. But it’s impossible to ignore that the Warriors have been, by far, the best team in the league all season. They rank No. 1 on defense, No. 2 on offense, and have a point differential (plus-11.4 per 100 possessions) that’s only been topped by three teams — the ’96 Bulls, the ’97 Bulls and the ’08 Celtics – over the last 38 years. No team played the Warriors better than the Spurs in the regular season, but I like the way that Golden State matches up, especially with the ability to shorten their rotation and get Andrew Bogut on the floor more than they did in the regular season.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: The Spurs have the championship components and experience, so they are the safest best in this scenario, even with all that the Warriors have done this season. Golden State has everything you would ever want from a championship team expect the experience that usually comes with repeated forays deep into the postseason before a breakthrough. They are not a Big 3-era team in that they were created basically overnight. Teams that are grown the way the Warriors have been usually require at least a stumble in the conference finals or The Finals before they learn how to get over the mental and emotional hurdle that leads to a title. There are no other teams, as of this moment, that inspire championship visions for me.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.com: Everyone in the West should view the Spurs as favorites. Golden State has been superior overall this regular season, but the Spurs have been hotter down the stretch and are one missed free throw away from pursuing a third straight championship. The best hope for the Warriors is to view themselves as underdogs in a potential conference final against San Antonio – instead of protecting the No. 1 seed, they should attack as if they have nothing to lose. Because the champs have everything that the Warriors want.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blogI would love to pick the Warriors, because I feel like everyone has sort of overlooked the Warriors and Hawks because of the way they’ve been able to cost for the last month or so. For instance, now Cleveland seems to be the consensus choice to win the Eastern Conference, even though the Hawks have handled the Cavs pretty well this season. In the West, the zombie Spurs have emerged from the grave and appear to be marching forth, unabated. Normally, I’d side with the Warriors here, with the logic being that they’ve earned the respect over the last 80-odd games. But then, these are the Spurs, the team that reached basketball nirvana in The Finals last year. And just like in the movies, until the zombie is completely snuffed out, I’m not turning my back on them.

 

19 Comments

  1. Jenn says:

    Does everyone seem to forget we bet the warriors on Easter Sunday not by 1 or 2 points but by a lot remember Coach Kerr was a respected Spurs player and helped us win in 2005 its hard to keep that level in the playoff’s going I see the warriors running out of gas they have only been to the 2nd round Spurs will beat them out

  2. joe johnson says:

    Warriors will when it all. Spurs will have respect after that as well as you other doubters.

  3. joe johnson says:

    Warriors will when it all. Spurs will have respect after that all you other doubters.

  4. harriethehawk says:

    The Slurs vs the Golden Flake Warriors? SPLASH!!!!!!!

  5. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Spurs…

  6. Sandra Finger says:

    GS always seem to choke in the playoffs. They have gone enough now to know to go for it all. How many times has their coach been to the Finals? That is it

    If GS plays the way they did the other night, no one will beat them not even Atlanta.

    Go Hawks

    • Kel says:

      Can’t pick the Warriors until they prove themselves in the post season. Gotta go with the Spurs in the West until they don’t make it to the Finals. I’d love to see them beat LeBron again. Although, I like Atlanta much more than the Cavs and would love to see them beat the Cavs as well.

  7. dustydreamnz says:

    Spurs if I had to choose but they’ll be nothing in it.

  8. Evan says:

    Player playoff experience has been empirically proven as insignificant in leading to more playoff wins and a championship. Everybody spouts this off as if its true because….well because everybody else spouts this off as if its true.

    Coach playoff experience is another thing entirely and has been proven to be significant in raising the number of playoff wins a team gets. Hopefully Kerr’s experience with the Spurs and Bulls will make up for Pop’s edge a bit. Also, lets hope that edge of Pop’s isn’t big enough to make up for the pretty large talent gap between the two teams.

  9. kilo says:

    Spurs lose in first round.

  10. Defdun says:

    I love the Warriors but their starting five and coach have no playoff experience beyond the second round… Contrary to the Spurs who have all “been there/done that” and as usual Pop has got them peaking at the right time. So if they stay healthy I can’t see anyone beating them in the West! (If unsure rewatch last week’s playoff-type game GSW@SAS)

  11. Pej says:

    I like Duncan, Tiago and Bayne to be healthy so they can control the board offensively and defensively. The warriors are small except Bogut, won’t be able to stay on the court the whole game. The name the game is post up play and San Anton have the advantage.

    • Robert says:

      Warriors had nothing to play for last week. Not exactly play-off atmosphere.

      • Andremiller says:

        Ever heard of a statement game? Kawhi Leonard proved he was the best perimeter defender in the game by shutting down steph curry (who was visibly flustered). Spurs also went into golden state and beat them (again led by kawhi).

        Spurs, Warriors, clippers, cavs, Bulls, in that order.

  12. neptunstudio says:

    Don’t forget that Golden State didn’t win @ San Antonio since 1997. 🙂
    Go Spurs Go ! 🙂

    • m49 says:

      defdun – everyone is siding with Spurs based on experience, ok i’ll buy that. But nobody is giving an on-court reason/explanation lol. Btw, last weeks game meant nothing for GSW and everything for SA. If you want to refer to a game that had meaning for both teams, replay the game between them a week after All-Star break……. you’re welcome!
      Pej – you obviously don’t know much about GSW, they are by no means small when they have guys 6’7″ and can rotate with anybody on SA. And for good measure, the days of post up play are gone with the way GSW and SA can shoot the 3’s…….
      neptunstudio – stop believing that erroneous stat – GSW won in SA two playoffs ago, and actually almost won two games there. Check the tape, you’re welcome!

    • Robert says:

      They did in the playoffs 2 years ago though, that streak is in the regular season.