Can the Spurs pull-off a Game 6 like performance tonight vs the Warriors?
Coach Pop couldn’t have said it any clearer. When asked whether he thought the “dirty play” by Zaza Pachulia was intentional or not, Pop sounded off in probably the most words you’ll ever see him put together in front of a camera. He not only agreed that it was dirty, he digged up an incident from a year ago when Pachulia was with the Mavericks when he “awkwardly” attempted to twist up Kawhi Leonard’s arm. “Go ask his teammate David West” Pop said who was with the team last season, “go ask David how we all felt about Zaza after that play”. “9.75 out of 10 people would all agree that the Golden State Warriors are going to the beat the Spurs” he said on his tirade.
It’s very rare to see Gregg Popovich call someone dirty let alone go on a rant about how he and his team feels. He’s a man of very few words and let’s his team’s play style on the court do the talking. In Game 6 vs the Rockets the odds were stacked against the Spurs with Vegas having Houston favored by double-digit points after it was announced Kawhi was sitting after injuring his ankle in Game 5. The outcome? Those pesky Spurs and Pop mustered up a 39 point blow out in which runner-up MVP candidate James Harden went completely cold and fouled out of the game. LaMarcus Aldridge dropped 34 points, and the chemistry never stopped booming.
Fast forward to Game 2 the Rockets aren’t the Warriors, and the Warriors are pretty damn good themselves when it comes to chemistry, having the agility, youth and length to cover the court. The Spurs led by as many as 25, that was until they fell apart after Leonard went down twice in Game 1, and all of a sudden the chemistry wasn’t there. Aldridge couldn’t finish strong, Danny Green went missing and the young bucks in Jonathan Simmons and DeJounte Murray didn’t shy away from the big moment, but they don’t currently have the playoff experience that would have been great to rely on this past Sunday.
Steph Curry is coming off a 40 point performance. Kevin Durant started to cook up nothing but buckets as he heated up in the 2nd half. Draymond Green was cold, and had foul trouble throughout the game and Klay Thompson had 6 points which isn’t great, but it was good enough for the Warriors to escape with a two-point victory. Now in Game 2 the pressure is on the Spurs. Regardless of the Warriors being down big early on you’ve got to think that at least three of four of their big 4 are going to be on point tonight. Not only Game 1 was a wake up call, no way they let a limping Spurs team with no Kawhi and Tony Parker even this series up at home right? Or does Pop have something up his sleeve similar to what we saw in Game 6.