The San Antonio Spurs are not willing to just lay down and pass over the torch. In a Game 6, which was do or die for the youthful Golden State Warriors, the veteran Spurs brought the fight and took the series.
If watching the game a second time, one might believe the Spurs to be the younger team considering the way they’ve not only kept up with the Warriors, but outrun them too. Tony Parker is a shining example. From start to finish, his energy is relentless. He attacks the basket, and because he is a threat to score, he opens up his wings on the perimeter like Danny Green and occasionally Kawhi Leonard, or Tim Duncan in his favorite spot at the top of the key. It was a poor shooting night for Parker and Manu Ginobili, but their effectiveness was not diminished. The Spurs’ veteran 1-2 punch combo of Ginobili and Parker combined to shoot 4-22 from the field, which is poor by anybody’s standards, but rather than hinder their team, they combined for 19 assists, constantly spreading the floor, and even knocked down several clutch, late game baskets to secure the lead.
The Warriors played with fight too, understanding that this was a win or go home situation. Well, they won’t have far to travel now, since they are already home. Despite Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter clogging the lane, they still managed to grab 11 offensive rebounds. Stephen Curry rediscovered his offensive game, which had been hiding for a couple of games. He was scoring on full court layups, scoops and floaters, tough jumpers, and of course, his patented threes. Though, other than Jarrett Jack off the bench, no other Warrior hit more than four shots. They were getting promising hustle and production out of Harrison Barnes until he suffered a scary fall late in the second quarter, landing awkwardly with his head hitting the floor. He left the game, and six stitches were required to close a cut above his right eye. He returned to start the second half, but it was short lived as he left the game soon after because of headaches.
The Warriors continued to rally in the fourth quarter. They cut a 13 point lead down to two points, but then that’s when their luck ran out. On consecutive possessions, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry had shot attempts go in and out, and the Spurs took advantage by knocking down some clutch threes from Leonard and Parker. The Spurs were able to close out on the road and now look forward to taking on the hungry Memphis Grizzlies in a rematch from round one of the 2011 NBA Playoffs, in which the 8th seed Grizzlies upset the 1st seed Spurs.
It was fantastic run for the Golden State Warriors, and should the team remain together and healthy, there’s no ceiling for their potential. Looking forward to the Western Conference Finals, it will be physical, gritty, blue collar basketball for about six to seven games. Memphis is my pick.
Tune in on Sunday, May 19, 2013, at 3:30 PM ET, to catch Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.