VIDEO: Clash of the titans, tonight on ABC (8:30 ET)
Good thing Golden State coach Steve Kerr … heh, heh … was only joking when he talked about … ho, ho … sitting out all his best players from the Warriors’ highly anticipated … ha, ha … game at San Antonio as the latest entry in the NBA’s series of ABC prime-time Saturday night telecasts (8:30 ET).
Otherwise David Stern might have roared back demanding a 10-day contract from NBA commissioner Adam Silver just to mete out Kerr’s and the Warriors’ punishment.
“If I had any guts at all, I’d sit everybody,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after Friday’s win over the Mavericks. “It’s like our sixth game in nine nights. It’s on national TV. If I was [Gregg Popovich], I’d sit everybody, but I don’t have that kind of courage.
“I’m in my second year. I can’t flip the bird to the league, like Pop does every once in a while. That’s my guy, but I’m not in that class.”
As it is, the Warriors expect to play without starting center Andrew Bogut, who suffered a jammed toe in Golden State’s victory at Dallas Friday. The Warriors also have been playing without center Festus Ezeli (knee), swingman Andre Iguodala (ankle) and rookie Kevon Looney (hip).
The two Western Conference powerhouses will play each other three times in the next 23 days. And as Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle notes:
The teams have clinched their respective divisions and appear to be on a collision course to meet in the Western Conference finals as they wrap up two of the NBA’s top three regular seasons ever.
Neither team has dropped consecutive games. Neither team has lost at home.
“This is the matchup that we’ve all been looking for,” Warriors forward Harrison Barnes said. “They’re one of the best defensive teams in the league and one of the teams that we could possibly see in the playoffs. We’re excited. We haven’t won there in a while, so that’s something that’s on our mind.”
“Home dominance is always a hallmark of a great team, but normally that means 35-6,” Kerr said. “The fact that both teams are undefeated is shocking.”
The Warriors haven’t won a regular-season game in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997 — a 32-game skid that ranks behind only the Kings’ 43-game road losing streak to the Lakers from 1975-92. The Warriors did win Game 2 of the 2013 Western Conference semifinals in the Alamo City after coughing up Game 1 there.
For a sense of how long ago it was that Golden State won in San Antonio, there’s this graphic, showing the teams’ starting lineups that night: