May 6, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (left) is fouled by San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first half in game one of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the AT
San Antonio made the adjustments in game one against the Golden State Warriors that helped them escape a two-point win this past Monday night at the AT&T Center. One change we saw that really made an impact was the switch from Tony Parker guarding Stephan Curry to Kawhi Leonard. This proved to be huge for San Antonio.
Leonard’s length made it difficult for Curry to do anything with the ball, yes he did manage to score a few points with Leonard on him but that came at the hands of pick and rolls. One point, Curry went 1 for 7 before. Leonard is a great defender, no breaking news there. Standing at 6 foot 7, and having the wingspan he has, also the speed, Leonard matches up with Curry.
With all the attention seeming to be on Curry as he for over 40 against San Antonio, Klay Thompson is another player that catches the attention of the Spurs. What if he didn’t foul out? Would we be talking about this is a must win for San Antonio? We never know, but Thompson is a key for Golden State and has proven so all season.
Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News tweeted that Parker expects to start off on Curry. Golden State probably planning to
May 6, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) drives to the basket while guarded by San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) during the first half in game one of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the AT
see Leonard start off on him. I believe Parker can do a decent job on Curry so I am not upset nor puzzled about this at all. There is no doubt in my mind we will see Leonard on him through-out the night.
Here are some keys that I feel San Antonio must do, or continue to do in order to leave San Antonio with a 2-0 lead.
Holding Down Curry. He is a shooter, he will make shots and he can create his own. We have to do a good job with staying in front of him and not getting caught up in what he can do. San Antonio should throw in mixtures of defenders at Curry to make him have to think about whom he would see the next time down the floor, so on and so forth. When we saw the bigger defender on him in Leonard, this proved to be the best match-up in favor of San Antonio. Down the stretch, especially in the overtime periods, the San Antonio defense helped out when Curry penetrated in the lane as he had a layup blocked by Danny Green as he came from the help side defense.
It is easier said than done with trying to stop Curry. He will get his points. San Antonio proved in game one, adjustments can be made and work.
Danny Green. Well it was a game I know I really was looking forward to seeing again from him. When he is hitting down shots, he gets so confident and I see a player out there that feels he is contributing. Green hit a huge three pointer to send the game into the first overtime. If he can capitalize on his game one performance, this series is more than likely San Antonio as they are getting a much needed boost from a good player. Here is to hoping tonight he stays HOT.
Figure Out Klay Thompson. He made it difficult for Tony Parker to do anything, until he fouled out. San Antonio has to find a way to get Parker involved as there is no doubt he will once again see the bigger Thompson on him. I see a lot of pick and rolls that are going to happen in game two so that Parker can create more of a match-up problem to draw Thompson away from him so he could go to work.
The Fans. As in Game One, the San Antonio faithful lifted the team and stuck by them when they were down 18 with five minutes to play in the game. I know, some fans may have rose from their seats and headed toward the exits but the die-hard fans stayed and stuck it out. Bet those that left towards the exits had to get to work the next night…..yeah that was it. If you have been to the AT&T Center you know how loud it can become and the Spurs feed off of it. It will surely be loud once again.