This post should have come yesterday but I had a crazy busy day. After watching the Spurs v Golden State, I had some things I needed to get off my chest. It was blissful watching the first 2 and a half quarters because the Spurs were executing. They were moving the ball with zip, finding the open man and taking their chances. Golden State on the other hand were a step behind. They were bricking it from everywhere. They dug themselves into a 25 point hole in the third quarter.
As much as I don’t like Golden State, I wanted the game to be at least a little bit competitive so I kind of wanted them to wake up then get snuffed out. Then the game changed on this
You will never convince me that Pachulia did not know what he was doing. See that extra shuffle at the end? That was unnecessary. He did one shuffle which you could question but I’ll let it slide. That second shuffle was deliberate and he was trying to hurt Kawhi. I heard someone say you can’t time where you place your foot when someone gets up for a jump shot. Really? Ask Bruce Bowen and Jalen Rose what they think of that. Whatever the case anyway, the game turned on that moment. Kawhi took the Spurs’ thunder with him and that was the fuel for the Curry and Durant kill switch. My goodness! They lit the Spurs up and went on an 18-0 run. The Spurs struggled from that point on and I’m putting that one on Lamarcus Aldridge. They went to him often and he couldn’t score from his favourite spot on the left block. I counted about 4 or 5 different times where he could have bailed them out with a key shot and he couldn’t convert. Pau Gasol is what? 36 or so plus he was even in foul trouble so there wasn’t much he could have done. I was also impressed with Dejounte Murray and Jonathan Simmons but ultimately, they need Kawhi to win.
Kawhi is out for game 2. Remember the Spurs beat (I’m sorry trounced) Houston in game 6 without Kawhi so it’s not impossible for them to win the odd game without him. Golden State is not Houston though and everyone on the Spurs team will have to be on fire. It’s definitely a tall ask. I believe in Popovich and I think he can find a way to in but it will be extremely difficult. That’s why it is even more frustrating that game 1 turned on such a dirty play. Golden State’s home crowd is something else and I worry that the Spurs might just have missed their best chance to pull a game out there.
If you read this blog, you know I am a Wizards fan. You also know that I wrote their Obituary over the weekend. Like the Spurs, they blew their best chance of winning the series when they threw a 23 point lead away in game one. The Wizards case is even worse because going into game 7, they were 1-6 on the road in these playoffs and I just didn’t see how they were going to gut that one out. Everyone says they would have presented a tougher match up for the Cavs and while I don’t necessarily disagree with that, I think they might be overlooking the Celtics when they say that. Whatever the case though, I expect them to pick up at least one or two wins against the Cavs to make them battle ready to the upcoming slug fest with Golden State.
Where do the Wizards go from here? It is hard to say. For sure they need to upgrade their bench. But after that, what else? If it were football (soccer), I’d say they should sell Gortat. I was also disappointed with Otto Porter in the playoffs, he looked exhausted and didn’t really have a big impact on any games. John Wall definitely needs some help but they have committed a lot of money to him, Beal and Mahinmi (Mahinmi is getting $64 Million over 4 years!). I expect Kelly Oubre will come on some but I think they need a spark off the bench. I don’t think Brandon Jennings provided that. Someone like Jamal Crawford to liven things up when Wall and Beal are resting. Ernie Grunfeld is a smart man, I’m sure he can figure it out.