Blogtable: Biggest takeaway from Spurs-Warriors?

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: Takeaway from Spurs-Warriors? | Thoughts on Griffin incident? |
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VIDEORelive the showdown between the Warriors and Spurs

> Biggest takeaway from the Warriors’ 120-90 victory over the Spurs on Monday?

David Aldridge, TNT analyst: That even Kawhi Leonard can be, at least for a night, neutralized as a shutdown defender by Golden State’s amalgam of ballhandling, passing and shooting. Lost in their shot-making brilliance is the fact that the Warriors are as good as a whole passing the ball as any team I’ve ever seen. Ever. In all of their lineup iterations they have multiple people who are outstanding passers. That’s the only way to beat a team defense as good as the Spurs and an individual defender as great as Leonard. Scary.

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: I’m going to give Gregg Popovich, R.C. Buford and LaMarcus Aldridge the benefit of the doubt, as far as Aldridge being a more helpful and strategic piece for the Spurs in a seven-game series against Golden State than he was Monday. But if that’s not my takeaway, then this is and it likely isn’t any more reassuring to San Antonio fans: The Warriors are in a different league this season from every other team, whether No. 2 or No. 30. Their crowd, their confidence, their chemistry and (to ride the alliteration) their Curry appear unbeatable. And their versatility ain’t bad either.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comFirst, coming on the heels of previous 30-point wins over Chicago and Cleveland, whipping the Spurs was the definitive statement that the defending champs are flying at a much higher altitude than everyone else and clearly are the team to beat. What has struck me all season about the Warriors is their clear sense of identity and purpose. There is no figuring things out. They like playing with each other. There are no external distractions. Second, it is January.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comThat LaMarcus Aldridge needs to step up more in these kinds of games. A lot more. Really, though, I don’t assign a great amount of importance to one game in January. The Warriors are really good, which we already knew, and the Spurs are really good, even if that didn’t come through. Nothing from Monday in Oakland will follow the teams into a possible playoff matchup, for example. Another lopsided win or two by Golden State and then maybe you’ve got some big takeaway. But not now.

Shaun Powell, NBA.com: Without a doubt, Draymond Green’s defense on LaMarcus Aldridge. OK, sure, Stephen Curry went ballistic (although you knew that was coming). Fine. But the Spurs added the most valuable free agent on the market last summer in order to give themselves an edge, and Aldridge was totally freaked out by Green’s defense. Green guarded him tightly, knowing that Aldridge is actually a very poor athlete (very little quickness and lateral movement) and therefore couldn’t shake free. If I’m the Spurs, I’m worried about Aldridge, who has never played a big game in his life but will be asked to bring it in the playoffs and against the Warriors in the very likely event they meet again.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com: Primarily it was that the Warriors thrashed a team that had been playing a level of defense that we’ve never seen before and had outscored its last 26 opponents by an average of 18.3 points. But the other thing that was apparent after just one quarter was that they played at the Warriors pace. Even when the Spurs weren’t turning the ball over, they couldn’t keep the game under control. And the Warriors thrive in a fast-paced, haphazard environment.

Sekou Smith, NBA.com: My biggest takeaway from the Warriors’ third straight 30-point smashing of a team that’s supposed to slow them down on their way to a second straight NBA title is believe the hype. It’s time for everyone to abandon all of these theories about the Warriors’ good fortune from last season and give it up. They are machine. And they are playing with a cosmic flow we haven’t seen from a team in quite some time. Stephen Curry (Mr. 37-points-in-three-quarters-against-the-best-defensive-crew-on-earth) is on another planet right now, but he’s far from the only Warrior operating at the next level. I think about a guy like Shaun Livingston, who shredded the Spurs in his limited early action. One virtuoso effort every now and then is one thing, but to do it basically every night for an entire seasons … believe the hype!

Ian Thomsen, NBA.comNo one is close to the Warriors. They are the most talented, most efficient and by far the hungriest contender midway through their title defense. The Warriors know exactly who they are, while the Spurs, relative to Golden State’s high standard, are still working their way through the transition around LaMarcus Aldridge. One thing we know for sure about the Spurs is that they’ll absorb this loss in a constructive way. It is more likely to inspire than demoralize them.

Lang Whitaker, NBA.com’s All Ball blog: That the Warriors are unbeatable. OK, perhaps not totally unbeatable, but to beat the Warriors when they are playing well, you have to play a near-perfect game. Can that happen? Sure, some opponents will occasionally have a game where they are able to keep possession of the ball without turning it over a dozen or more times, and they hit fifty percent of their threes, and maybe they catch Steph Curry on an off night. But here’s the thing I can’t figure out: How will any team do that four times in seven games during the postseason?

10 Comments

  1. picknroll says:

    http://bbs.clutchfans.net/showthread.php?t=269943

    good look at the warriors moving screens. Just wow, cant really say much more besides see for yourself.

  2. pedro says:

    Common guys.
    @ Will J
    moving picks or not Curry will get open shots. Look at the pull up jump shot he made on Leonard. The Defensive Player of the Year,. Curry faked the cut made a V cut, catched the ball faked a three point shot, dribbled to the right and made a pull up jump shot. Curry never used a pick, yet Leonard was never near to put a hand on his face.
    Livingston’s 2 dunks never used a pick but a result of defenders running after the shooters and he sneak from the weak side.
    @ Houston fan
    Curry’s number is skewed? he played far less minutes than Harden and certainly Harden hogs the ball more. Every play runs through Harden in Houston. Yet Curry average more points. Who on NBA history shoots as many shots 30 ft from the ring and as many off the dribble 3s yet makes more than 40% of them. Openings for layups where results of defenders chasing Curry 30 ft from ring because if they leave them open he will more likely make it than Howard shooting free throw.
    If Shaq played in this era, he would take 50 free throws a game. I disagree with your idea that its harder to get calls at the post/paint. Refs are even calling more soft fouls in the paint now. Look at the many rules on Flagrant foul now. I have seen defenders holding Shaq and no fouls where called. I have seen players humping on his back and no flagrant foul.
    Ask Jordan what is the true definition of “hammered” everytime he played the Bad Boys of the Pistons and no flagrant foul is called.
    Put Curry on Houston and I’m sure they will win the ring, Exchange him with Irving and Cavs will be champions.
    Exchange him with Parker and Spurs will be champions.

    Give Curry and the Warriors their due.
    They came from the bottom and worked hard for what they have now.
    Whatever the rules wherever he plays, Curry will work hard whatever skills he need to be the best.
    Whatever the rules. The Warriors will work hard to be the Champions.
    That’s what great players do, that’s what champions do.
    That’s what LeBron and the Heat did. that’s what Duncan and the Spurs did.
    Now it’s Curry’s and the Warrior’s time to reap the rewards of their hard work.

  3. Pistol Pete says:

    Biggest takeaway: At 75 yrs old, Tim Duncan is still invaluable to the Spurs

  4. My takeaway is that they are unstoppable and nobody, not the Cadavaliers, not the Flippers, the Slurs, and even my second favorite team, the Thunder have or will have an answer for them. This is going to be the most BORING finals game ever.

  5. frangelica says:

    Don’t forget that most of the Warriors play less than 35 minutes per game….Against the Spurs, Curry shot 37 in 28 minutes, and has sat out 14 4th quarters this season. He’s already shot over 200 3s having sat out the equivalent of 41/2 games… Imagine if he played more minutes, he’d probably have beaten his 3 pt record by now. Beyond the Spurs they are double digits above every other team in the entire NBA. They also do not get bunches of foul calls. And…Klay Thompson has the second highest number of 3s this season. I’m actually glad Pop is coaching the All Star Game which will let the rest of the Ws take a very beneficial rest. Kerr can coach next year. LOL

  6. Houston Fan says:

    Not sure about the rules and right calls on those plays mentioned by Will J but those things are the reason why I never saw Curry as the best player in this league. The real MVP should have talent that is transferable from one team to another, Curry’s number is skewed because of the number of sets/plays Warriors run for him (mostly picks and screens). For a shooter Curry sure loves to play on playgrounds for kids (just watch him carefully during Warrior games, he plays catching with his defender going merry go round around other warrior players). The resulting openings for layups and shots is where the insane efficiency and plus/minus come from. The league needed someone to be the next flag carrier after LeBron, Durant flopped so they turned to Curry. Curry is about as much as what the league made him into than who he really is. The way refs call the game turned this into a shooters’ league, and Curry just happened to be the best shooter. It’s harder to get calls playing in the post/paint than launching from the great beyond, and the end result is D Cousins your best center in the league shooting threes as well… If only Shaq lived in this era… Heck he is reason players get hammered in the paint by “physically weaker” opponents and refs allow it.

  7. Will J says:

    When will you people realize that the numbers strongly indicate that something is afoot. When you see the amount of wide open jump shots and lay ups, ask yourself are they the greatest athletes you’ve ever seen, or is the league struggling to figure out what they are doing. Think about that. San Antonio got blown out by 30 points. Golden State is a very good team, a 60 win team, and I am a huge fan of their players and coaches, but these results are indicative that something is wrong. I have laid it out in my previous emails. Unless something is done about it (i.e., the league starts calling moving screens, or everyone starts doing it to the extent that Golden State does), they will win the next 10 championships. It is shooting like theirs which the basketball gods anticipated, when they implemented the moving pick rule. If you can’t get a hand in his face, and I mean closely, he is the greatest basketball scorer ever (even though he is only 6’3″ and not a great athlete). Surely one could play leonard, danny green, and genobli and have them switch, in order to at least get a hand in the face of their shooters. I’ve watch curry and drahmon shoot two airballs recently when tightly defended with a hand in their face. I’m just saying.

  8. Will J says:

    76-6*….Nothing can stop Golden State, because they’re playing a different game. The refs won’t call it, and the rest of the league allows it to go on. They run one moving pick after another, sometimes multiple, concurrent moving picks on one possession, causing separation from their defenders and chaos in your defense. One man cuts, then another slides into the path of the chasing defender, and then he himself spots up, and over and over again. The result is typically an open jump shot or lay up. It frustrates and demoralizes the other team. Just ask JR smith. Steph almost got into a fight with Ariza over it. They almost never set a stationary pick prior to the offensive man making his move, and then they almost always move into the chasing defender driving him off the line that he chose to take. They do it on and off the ball, almost every possession. I understand the challenges that their lack of size presents; but these are offensive fouls that must be called. There is a reason why no one else runs the elevator play: its freak’n illegal. Combined with their excellent shooting these tactics result in 35 point blow outs of NBA champion caliber teams and a ridiculous 76-6 season that will never be approached. Is this the greatest collection of basketball talent in the history of basketball, or just a really good team playing football, while everyone else is playing basketball? I like Golden state, and I’m a huge fan of most of their players/Coach Kerr, but I want them to win fairly.

  9. Defdun says:

    Amazing…the Warriors are otherworldly right now…And thats exactly what might ground them in May/June, as now they are expected to zoom through the playoffs like Fo-Fo-Fo-Fo which is a back-breaker of an expectation for a young and fairly inexperienced team. Winning a champion is one thing, but winning it again as the high-flying favorites is so much harder.