Highlights courtesy of MLG Highlights
1. In the absence of a certain two time MVP Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson accounted for 51 of Golden State’s 113 points en route to a game 1 win over the San Antonio Spurs. Durant’s 24 points along with 8 boards and 7 assists helped the Dubs establish their desired pace and was the model of consistency they’ve sorely needed as of late. His 11 first quarter points along with a masterful team defensive effort put the Dubs out early and they never looked back.
However, the hot hand here was Klay. His 27 points came by way of 11 of 13 shooting including 5 of 6 from deep. Golden State also got an awesome afternoon out of JaVale McGee (yes, that JaVale McGee). The former Shaqtin A fool MVP tallied his season’s best with 15 points in only 16 minutes. His first quarter output on both ends was also instrumental in the Dubs’ dynamic start.
2. We’re all familiar with Golden State’s slogan strength in numbers. Not to sound too cliché but this is also a way of life for the Warriors (told ya it was gonna be cliché). Nine Dubs clocked more than 15 minutes of work this afternoon. Even factoring that the game was more or less in hand for them by the end of the first quarter this is still rather impressive since playoff ball has a way of shortening most teams’ rotations.
Another steadying force was the play of Draymond Green. His line of 12-8-11 with two steals and a block is a perfect example of the output they’ll need from him in this series. The Warriors also made an eyebrow raising move with their starting lineup deciding to start Andre Iguodala at the point instead of Shaun Livingston or the rookie Quinn Cook who they have been going to in Steph’s absence. It turned to be a pretty damned good move as he anchored a defense that held the Spurs to a paltry first frame points. Cook’s playoff debut wasn’t as impressive as the play that got him here but he didn’t look rattled and was decent on D. Shaun Livingston and Kevon Looney rounded out a solid day from the bench unit with 11 points for Shaun and 6-6-3 line with a block for Looney.
Looking at this series beforehand their were numerous concerns about how ready the Dubs were going to be. The fact that they dropped six of their last ten only added fuel to the concern troll fire. Today was certainly a statement game to remind everyone that this isn’t their first rodeo without one of their best players. Aside from their defense they killed the Spurs with their pace and switched them into submission getting every mismatch they could’ve dreamed of and capitalizing on it at damn near every turn.
3. This is the Spurs team we hate to see. They looked lethargic, sloppy and when they felt the game getting away from them rather uninspired. San Antonio has been hampered by the loss of Kawhi Leonard and the off the court fallout from it. But the Spurs being the Spurs they weathered the storm and at times looked pretty dominant in their pursuit to another trip to the playoffs. Today that fight wasn’t there. Already a team that has a tendency to have difficulty scoring their 40% from the field did them no favors.
If San Antonio has any chance of making this a series LaMarcus Aldridge must come up BIG here. His 14 points on 5 of 12 shooting and virtually zero presence in any other facet of the game ain’t gonna cut it. Rudy Gay was the lone bright spot if you can call it that with 15 points which lead all Spurs and 6 rebounds. Other than that you will be hard pressed to find anything to be impressed with. Tony Parker scored 2 points on 1 of 8 from the field and Kyle “SloMo” Anderson went scoreless. There were some okay bench numbers with Bryn Forbes dropping in 14 points and Manu Ginobili with 9 but these are all but empty numbers as most of this was doe with the game already out of reach.
If I sound harsh I my assessment it’s only because I know how good the Spurs are. And yes, I mean this team sans Leonard and it was just damned disappointing to see them lay an egg like this. But if there’s one thing I do know it’s that Pop isn’t thrilled about taking this one on the chin so expect to see a much different team in Game 2. Just sucks that it took an L like this to awaken this.