To beat the Warriors, the Spurs have to be nearly perfect on both ends of the floor.
From the four games played between the two teams in the regular season, it’s clear the margin for error is smaller for San Antonio than it is for the reigning champions when they go head-to-head.
Golden State won three of the four contests, with two lopsided victories at home and a split of closely-contested meetings on the road.
The reason for those close games at AT&T Center was down to the Spurs defence, which already is the best in the league but gets taken to a new level on their own floor.
San Antonio can tighten the clamps on the Warriors’ free-flowing attack by drastically slowing down the pace and turning the proceedings into a half-court affair.
That strategy presents a double-edged sword, however, because it means the Spurs have to operate deliberately on the other end of the floor against Golden State’s own stout defence, which has made it considerably tougher to score, as evidenced by their average of 86.5 points in the two games at home.
The Warriors often don’t get enough credit for how they can slow down opponents and that has made all the difference in the battles between the two giants.
San Antonio’s best solution has been heavily featuring LaMarcus Aldridge and it’s no coincidence he’s had his best games of the series in the two closest results. The first-year Spur has to be the focal point of what they do offensively for them to keep up with Golden State.
The problem is, Aldridge’s scoring may not be enough in a seven-game series. It will be an uphill climb for the rest of the NBA to dethrone the Warriors and the Spurs are no exception.
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