The San Antonio Spurs are playing the best basketball in the Western Conference. To harken back to Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair, “To be the best you’ve got to beat the best.” Last night San Antonio beat the best by snapping the Golden State Warriors’ 12-game winning streak in dominating fashion.
This is 17 wins in 20 games for the Spurs who just don’t lose to the Warriors when playing in San Antonio; They are on a 32 game winning streak. However, if they should meet in the playoffs the Spurs will have to take one from Golden State in Oakland, where they are seemingly unstoppable (they have lost only two games all season at home). Combine that with the fact that the Spurs are just mediocre on the road this season, and you’ve got yourself some postseason drama.
If Steve Kerr’s team is going to truly unseat the Spurs in the West, they are going to have to figure out what to do about Kawhi Leonard. We know he is a defensive juggernaut (he had a career high seven steals in this game), but he is also turning into a predictable offensive force. His 26 points led the way to the Spurs victory.
As soon as the Warriors’ Steph Curry would get hot, Gregg Popovich would switch the longer and more active Leonard onto the shooter, and effectively shut him down. He is showing a Bruce Bowen-like defensive prowess to such a degree that the rest of San Antonio is feeding off his confidence when matched against the other team’s best player. He can defend four positions, maybe five.
Klay Thompson’s game was way off against San Antonio. His six points came on three-of-eleven shooting.
The Spurs have a tough week ahead: Oklahoma City, then two games against the second-seeded Houston Rockets.
A shout out to Matt Bonner, and my theory of Bonnetivity. If you play Matt Bonner, you win games. San Antonio is a perfect 10-0 when added to the regular starting rotation in replacement of Splitter.