Can the Warriors Win against the Spurs be Built Upon?
It’s a simple enough question, can a win over the Spurs tonight be built upon by this Warriors team? Sure it’s easy to say that the win tonight ranks up right next to the win over Miami and is neck and neck with the wins over both the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder. But the bigger question is can this win be considered more than just another great night at Oracle? It definitely has the inklings of one of those games that teams look back at when the season is over after, dare I say it without jinxing it, a playoff run and say, “That’s when we past our first test.” Or whatever it is that teams say to each other when they are trying to decipher an arbitrary starting point of just when they felt their season really started.
After finally snapping a 6 game losing streak against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday in a 108-98 beat down, many thought tonight’s game against the Spurs would already be chalked up in the loss column. The Warriors had already lost 16 games in a row to the Spurs, so what was another among friends. Then compiling that problem with the introduction of new Adiddas Shirsey-errr, Jersey’s and you had the makings of a not so happy night in Warriorland, in a not so snazzy new uniform.
Let me sidebar this post real quick, look I get that not everyone is going to like the new uniforms. Hell, I probably wouldn’t have minded them as much if the shorts would have at least matched the jersey, even with the pinstriped shorts. But let’s not kid ourselves and say that this new fangled expensive version of a Shirsey isn’t more novelty than substance. With teams constantly trying to look for new revenue streams, don’t tell me that adding sleeves to a basketball jersey isn’t more about adding possible Ad real estate than its is about pushing forward basketball clothing technology. How else would you be able to fit a humungous Bug Zappers Pest Control logo on it without having it actually interfere with the teams logo? Think about it…
Back to the game, obviously Jarret Jack was the star of tonight’s game but I just wanted to bring up the fact that defense that I saw Klay Thompson playing on Tony Parker was also a big key to tonight’s win. I’m sure a lot of people noticed it but I liked how engaged Klay was on the defensive end when he was matched up on Parker. Sure it could be that Parker was just a little tired from torching CP3 and the Clippers from the night before but I would like to believe that Klay stood focused on his job defensively on Parker. Plus it probably helped that he was able to get his offensive game going early because after the quick 8 points he scored in the 1st qtr, that was all he was going to get until OT. Klay finished with a line of 10 pts on 5-14 shooting, 3 Rebs, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, and a +/- of -6. He did a good job of going over screens and really using great footwork to try and stay in front of Parker for as long as he could in order to funnel him to defensive help or using his length to bother Parker’s shot once he got into the lane. Also even though he went cold offensively after the first quarter, he made Parker work on the defensive end in terms of having him run through screens and attempting to post up him up even if he would end up passing out of the set. Finally, Klay had the 2nd highest minutes total on the team which meant even though he wasn’t scoring he was doing something right. Parker ended with a line of 18 pts on 7-18 shooting, 3 Ast, 6 Rebs, 2 Stls, and a +/- of -5 and just wasn’t his usual effective self in tonight’s game.
Then you had Jarrett Jack, the man of the hour and as Mark Jackson said after the game,
With all due respect to what Jamal Crawford has done for the Los Angeles Clippers and with all due respect to what J.R. Smith has done for the New York Knicks, Jarrett Jack has been the best sixth man all year long.
Jack had an insane line off the bench and one that hadn’t been matched since Magic Johnson in 1996. Jack’s line was a gaudy 30 pts on 11-22 shooting, 3 Rebs, 10 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, and +/- of +19. Even though Jack was 1-6 from 3 pt land, the picture above is right after he nailed a wide open 3 that Stephen Curry was able to create on a left handed pass back out to Jack even though he looked trapped on the baseline. Jack has turned into the Warriors defacto crunch time go to player. He is willing, ready, and able to take and knock down big shots when his number is called and proved it again last night versus the Spurs. Curry is still growing into his role as the go to “Closer” on the Warriors but the mere fact that he has someone like Jarrett Jack to help disperse the weight of the final 2 mins of game or the last couple of possessions is great for both Curry and the Warriors. Yes, the Warriors will go as Stephen Curry and Davivd Lee go, but they need a straw to stir that drink and his name is Jarrett Jack.
I started this post by posing the question of if the Warriors could build on the win over the Spurs. Undoubtedly they can, but the key will be for them to avoid a let down game in Minnesota and play with the same intensity that they did against the Spurs regardless of the opponent for the duration of the road trip. No Excuses. The upcoming road trip is not pretty, but last night’s win over the Spurs could be the first true building block in the Warriors playoff plans.
Oh and Jarrett Jack, can you start doing this after you kill the hopes of an NBA team after a Made shot. Thanks in Advance.
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