Monday night featured what might be the two of the best teams in NBA history. The 40-4 Golden State Warriors; The 38-6 San Antonio Spurs. A combined record of 78-10 is the best in league history between two teams on a given night, and everyone was buzzing around the NBA because of this matchup.
Golden State features the most electrifying offense while San Antonio’s defense is historically good. There was an aura surrounding this game, with hopes that both teams would go shot-for-shot, concluding with a game-winner by either Steph Curry, or Kawhi Leonard.
Contrarily, this was not the case. Golden State demolished San Antonio by 30 points — 120-90. Even without Tim Duncan, no one expected an outcome like that. The shellacking handed out by Curry & Golden State helped show some new elements about their team, and solidify some old ones.
The NBA Is Stephen Curry’s League
People around the league had a gripe with last year’s playoffs because the Warriors didn’t get to face San Antonio, a team that many thought would’ve ousted the Warriors. The Spurs looked way better than the team they had last year, and Curry had his way with them.
In three-quarters of play — 28:21 minutes played to be exact — Curry showcased how unguardable and lethal he is with a basketball. He connected on six threes on nine attempts and finished with 37 points, four assists, and five steals.
Steph was so good last night that he put Kawhi Leonard on skates.
Not Patty Mills (actually, Patty Mills too). Not David West, but Kawhi Leonard. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Golden State Is The Best NBA Team By Far
Monday night’s game was the first game since March 8th, 2013 where the Spurs lost by 30; San Antonio’s five previous losses this year added up to a combined 33 points. I understand that teams have off nights, and the Spurs are no exception. The 120 points put up by Golden State are the most points SA has allowed all season, and there have been only 12 other games during the Popovich era where a team put up 120+.
It’s abundantly clear that Golden State is the most dominant team in the league as they’ve torched two title contenders (San Antonio & Cleveland) by 64 points combined. The Spurs were uncharacteristically careless with the basketball, due to Golden State’s ferocious defense, and the Warriors were able to stagnate the Spurs’ offense, allowing only 21 assists.
A Seven-Game Series Will Not Look Like This
The feeling around the league is that both Golden State & San Antonio will cruise through their first two rounds of playoffs, and face off in the Western Conference Finals. I, too, believe that’ll happen. However, this was a fluke. It’s not a fluke because of Golden State beating San Antonio; it’s a fluke because of how badly.
The Warriors are totally capable of beating the Spurs, evidenced by Monday night, but if these two meet in the postseason, all the games are going to be close. The Spurs are too great a team to allow another beatdown like this.
*Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo*
*Date Courtesy of Basketball-Reference*
*Video Courtesy of FreeDawkins / YouTube*