With two games in the San Antonio – Golden State series in the books, the series is now tied at one game each. That’s certain. What I’m struggling to figure out is if I just watched Game 2 or Game Thompson. Warriors wingman Klay Thompson hoisted the entire Warriors franchise and placed it upon his shoulders with his incredible 34 point, 14 rebound performance.
Losing the double overtime Game 1 heartbreaker in the manner in which they did, Golden State set out to quickly erase history, with a lot of emphasis on ‘quickly’. Proving to be a second half team thus far in the playoffs, the Warriors got off to a hot start, jumping out to a 62-43 first half lead. Klay Thompson scored almost half of the team’s first half points, putting up 29 first half points on 11-18 shooting, including a tremendous 7-8 from three.
San Antonio was able regroup in the second half, storming back and cutting the once 20 point lead to single digits, limiting Golden State to just 38 combined second half points. However, Golden State always had an answer. The closest they allowed the Spurs to get was seven points.
Klay Thompson’s performance showed just how important it is to have an additional threat to go along with Stephen Curry. Curry, who finished with 22 points, shot a very modest 7-20 from the field. Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich was quoted saying, “I thought it was polite of [Curry and Thompson] to at least take turns and not both be on fire on the same night.”
Thompson’s performance and first round performances by other players such as Jarrett Jack and Harrison Barnes show that Curry has plenty of support around him to alleviate some of the pressure placed on his shoulders. The Warriors will have to squeeze every ounce of contribution from each of these complementary players if they want to continue to compete with San Antonio’s depth and rotation. The Spurs played almost as many players  off the bench, (albeit some in limited minutes) as Golden State played total .
Going forward, it is really simple to call and there isn’t too much of a science to this series. The team that executes its game more effectively wins. It sounds rather simple, but these are two teams that have built systems around the talent on the roster and run skill specific gameplans that fit the personnel specifically, and they match up as yin to yang, so it really comes down to which teams sets the pace and runs its respective system more completely.
Be sure to sound off with your thoughts, comments, and predictions in the comments box or on my Twitter @JohnYJArmstrong.
Tune into Game 3 Friday, May 10, 2013 at 10:30 PM ET.
I’m going to go ahead and make a prediction that this series will be tied 2 – 2 after Games 3 and 4. Golden State will ride the momentum into Game 3 and feed off the incredible Oracle Arena crowd and secure their home victory, but San Antonio will silence the cheers in Game 4.