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Spurs vs. Warriors Second Round Playoff Preview


As the first lower-seeded team to advance to the second round in the NBA playoffs, the Golden State Warriors are getting plenty of attention and adulation, and deservedly so. No one is really talking about their second round opponent yet – second-seeded San Antonio – and maybe that’s because the Spurs haven’t played for a while after dispatching the Los Angeles Lakers so quickly.

Of course, the Spurs are used to being ignored. No one ever really gives the quiet winners any credit, that is until they appear on fans’ and bettors’ radars by beating their favorite team. And right now, there’s no question that Golden State is the basketball world’s underdog darling.

Golden State’s six-game series win against the highly-touted Denver Nuggets was impressive indeed, but beating the Spurs – the most experienced team in the playoff field – with be another story entirely.

As usual, the Spurs didn’t employ a lot of pizazz or flash in their dismantling of the Lakers, but make no mistake, it was a thrashing. Not only did San Antonio sweep away the injury-ridden Lakers, but it did it with four consecutive double-digit victories.

Now, we can’t expect the Warriors will fold up that easily. They’ve proven they can handle adversity and physical play, but there’s no doubt that they are banged up as well after that intense series with the ultra-aggressive Nuggets. Playing through that pain has given them some bonus points with fans this postseason, but considering the Spurs are plenty rested after their sweep, we can surely add another edge to San Antonio’s growing pile of advantages.

And home court is another advantage that can’t be underestimated here. San Antonio has been close to flawless on its home floor, while the Warriors have left their best game in California when they’ve traveled this season. The Warriors were beyond brilliant at home against Denver, winning all three games at the Oracle, but if they can’t pick up a game or two in San Antonio, they’ll be in big trouble.

David Lee’s return to the court definitely inspired the Warriors to a spectacular performance in game six against Denver, but after playing just one minute, he and the Warriors showed he’s not really ready to play. His absence will give the Spurs another advantage in the low block and on the backboards, and that’s one advantage the Spurs didn’t really need.

When you add it all up, it certainly looks like the Spurs will advance. Will they mow through the Warriors like they did the depleted Lakers? Of course not. I see Golden State winning a game or two, but the Spurs are simply too strong, too experienced and too disciplined to lose a series in which they have home court advantage. We may love the underdog, but when wagering on this series, we have to be realistic. So, take the Spurs to advance, but look for the Warriors to defend their home floor in games three and four with some inspired vigor.

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