Spurs Game 2 X-factor: Everyone
To say the San Antonio Spurs are in for a tough series is an understatement, especially after they saw a 25-point lead vanish in Game 1 of the West Finals while losing star Kawhi Leonard to an ankle injury.
So now what? How will they pull out a road win sans Kawhi? Who will be the X-factor for San Antonio heading into Game 2?
It is going to have to be an all out team effort.
Everyone who will get the playing time will have to step up their game as they did in Game 1. San Antonio came out strong. They scored 30 points in the first quarter as they saw an early 14 point lead. They continued their onslaught in the second scoring 32 holding a 62-42 lead.
LaMarcus Aldridge who finished with 28 points in 40 minutes is playing at another level at the right time. Behind Aldridge the Spurs were +14 in the paint (56-42). Offensively, San Antonio had it going on, they also got a huge boost from the second unit as they were +26 (39-13). The never-aging Manu Ginobili finished with 17 points in 25 minutes on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor.
But, with a team like Golden State, they are primed to make a run, with or without Kawhi on the floor and they did just that in the third quarter as Curry led the way. The Warriors outscored the Spurs in the 2nd half 71-49. Again, say what you will about the ‘incident’ that occurred in the third quarter but face the fact, the Warriors are a good team, a really good team.
Defensively what hurt the Spurs was their transition defense and lack of rebounding in the second half. The Warriors like to get out and run when they have the chance and in Game 1, San Antonio saw just that. Golden State rushed out to a +21 on fast break points (32-12).
The Warriors though will pull up for a transition three more than than they would attack the rim so San Antonio needs to be ready for all things. They have to run back on defense and not get caught up on missed shots, or fouls that should be called.
San Antonio can and have put up points in the playoffs but controlling the pace will be key once again.
Everyone is an X-factor tonight. Everyone has to play each second as if it is their last second in the NBA. From Aldridge, Danny Green, Dejounte Murray, Jonathon Simmons to the last guy on the bench, this team is mad, their coach is ticked off, and their fans are steamed.
If any team can rally after losing their star player is the Spurs. But they'll have to step up their games tonight.