Feb 22, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) high fives point guard Tony Parker (9) after his play against the Golden State Warriors during the overtime period at Oracle Arena. The Golden State Warriors defeats the San Antonio Spurs 107-101 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
February 14th, 1997.
A 26-year-old Latrell Sprewell led the way for the Golden State Warriors with 32 points, 4 rebounds and 7 assists, in 46 minutes of action. Meanwhile, the Spurs were led by the great #21, Dominique Wilkins, who had 22 points and 5 rebounds, off the bench, in 32 minutes.
It was just another victory in the historic 1,000-win career of Rick Adelman. For the Spurs, it was a mark of failure in the young head coaching career of one Gregg Popovich.
Bob Hill probably had a nice laugh about this back then.
That was the last time the Golden State Warriors won a game in San Antonio.
Since that game, and abysmal season in Spurs history, the Warriors have only seen the playoffs twice – once being the 2007 team that made history by being the first 8th seed to beat a #1 seed in the playoffs – and now this year. The Spurs on the other hand…well, you already know. Tim Duncan, four championships, an NBA record 14-straight seasons with 50+ wins, yada, yada, yada. Oh, and that Popovich guy now has over 900 career wins.
Sure the fact that the Warriors have lost 29 straight times in the Alamo City is astonishing. They couldn’t win in the Alamodome and they’ve yet to win a game in the AT&T Center. But that’s irrelevant. The Western Conference Semifinals are a different animal, and this team isn’t relying on Bimbo Coles and Joe Smith to win them a game, let alone this series.
What the Spurs are preparing for is the buzzsaw that is Stephen Curry. A man who’s going to bring his gas can on the court and try to burn down the entire arena with his shooting. As a basketball player, Curry is the closest thing to the Human Torch in the Marvel Comics.
But the story here is experience versus inexperience. Golden State is now the team with a young, up-and-coming roster, and the youthful head coach with a bright future. The Spurs are just trying to defeat Father Time for another season, in an attempt to secure a fifth championship in franchise history.
Last week, Popovich compared watching Steph Curry shoot to watching Michael Jordan play.
And as long as the Spurs aren’t too busy admiring Wardell Stephen Curry’s shot, as many teams ended up admiring Jordan on a nightly basis, then San Antonio should be able to take this series.
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
Point GuardsTony Parker – Stephen CurryShooting GuardsDanny Green – Klay ThompsonSmall ForwardsKawhi Leonard –
Richard Jefferson Harrison BarnesPower ForwardsTim Duncan – Carl LandryCentersAron Baynes – Andrew Bogut
Key Bench PlayersGary Neal, Matt Bonner, Cory Joseph – Jarrett Jack, David Lee, Draymond Green
Head CoachesGregg Popovich – Mark Jackson
GAME AND BROADCAST INFORMATION
When: Monday, May 6th, 2013 at 8:30 PM Central TimeWhere: AT&T Center – San Antonio, TexasTelevision: TNT (National) Radio: News Radio 1200 AM WOAI (Local)
For the Golden State Warriors perspective, check out Fansided’s own Blue Man Hoop.