Considering how the Spurs front office has carefully managed the talent on their team, it’s a bit unlucky for San Antonio to have to deal with a Warriors team that’s embraced the small ball movement in its deadliest form. The shooting skill and underrated defence of the Dubs turned out to be the best way to defeat the genius of Pops, who employed a similar but less aggressive three-and-d strategy. Both teams will fight hard all season to earn home advantage in an extremely competitive western conference.
NBA Picks: Spurs vs Warriors Odds, Prediction and Live Score
During the 2016 NBA off season, the Golden State Warriors made the biggest free agent splash since The Decision by signing Kevin Durant, which feels unfair to the rest of the association. To do so, they had to drop Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes, two starters who won the Dubs a championship during the 2015 NBA Finals. The Spurs are dealing with the loss of The Big Fundamental, who might be the greatest power forward ever to lace a pair of hightops. Pau Gasol replaces Duncan, adding a bit of punch to the Spurs offense while detracting from Pop’s defensive schemes.
San Antonio Spurs vs Golden State Warriors Prediction
The Antonio Spurs and the Warriors will look to get their regular season off on the right foot. This is about as high profile as the opening game of the season gets, as these two squads will be jockeying for first place overall in the association.
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Only the brave will bet against the Golden State Warriors this year because they’ve put together the most intimidating lineup since the Shaq and Kobe Lakers. There’s simply no way any team can guard the Dubs lineup unless shooters happen to go cold all at once. Put your best defender on Curry and Durant will kill you. Switch to Curry and Durant will make you regret it. Even if you cover Curry and Durant perfectly, you’ll have to deal with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. There’s a good chance that the Warriors will set another regular season win record this year.
Making matters worse for the rest of the NBA, players such as David West and Zaza Pachulia joined the Dubs, adding to an already impressive bench which includes Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and Anderson Varejao. Even with an injury or two, Golden State will be able to function at an extremely high level. This makes it extremely tough for any team to complete against the Warriors, including an fantastic squad like the Spurs.
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The Spurs were the best defensive team of the 2015-16 NBA regular season, allowing a scant 92.9 points per game, three less than the next best defensive squad, the Utah Jazz. Unfortunately, after losing Tim Duncan and David West, it’s unlikely that Pops has the roster necessary to retain this level of defensive efficiency. The Warriors finished first in offense by a long shot, scoring 114.9 PPG, which is more than four PPG above their nearest offensive rival, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Incredibly, the Warriors could easily finish above 115 PPG this year while the Spurs are unlikely to be as stingy as they have been in the past. San Antonio wasn’t able to contain the Warriors when it mattered most, and this year it will likely be more difficult than ever to put the lid on the Dubs ridiculous attack. Look for the Warriors to make a loud statement to open the season, with Durant and Curry making the squad appear invincible during the first half of the campaign. The Spurs will push to compete, especially with Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge in their prime, but the lack of depth compared to the Dubs will relegate San Antonio to second best in the west.
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