SAN ANTONIO — Just 17 teams in NBA story have prisoner during slightest 65 wins in a singular unchanging season.
So when a San Antonio Spurs (58-10) horde a Golden State Warriors (61-6) on Saturday during a ATT Center (8:30 p.m. ET on ABC/WatchESPN), we could unequivocally good be examination a subsequent dual teams set to join that prestigious list, while potentially climbing into some-more rarified atmosphere as 70-win squads, that would symbol a initial time in NBA story dual teams reached that rise in a same season.
Interestingly enough, a final time Golden State degraded a Spurs in San Antonio, Tim Duncan was a comparison during Wake Forest, and a lineups featured players such as B.J. Armstrong, Avery Johnson, Chris Mullin, Latrell Sprewell, Monty Williams and Dominique Wilkins, who came off a dais to lead a home group in scoring in a 1997 Valentine’s Day clash.
Golden State’s regular-season strain of futility in San Antonio ranks as a longest active highway losing strain opposite a singular competition and a second-longest strain of all time, according to Elias research.
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ESPN NBA reporters Ethan Sherwood Strauss and Michael C. Wright plead a matchup and a unequivocally genuine probability of Golden State sitting some players with a Warriors entering this diversion entrance off a Friday night tour during Dallas:
Wright: What we’re witnessing right now between a Warriors and Spurs is unprecedented, yet looking during a schedule, San Antonio needs to win 12 of a final 14 games to strech 70 victories on a season. So from this vantage point, a Warriors have a improved possibility of removing to 70 wins than a Spurs. Can a Warriors do it, and what would be their biggest barrier to creation it happen?
Strauss: To answer a initial question, a Warriors are roughly guaranteed to win 70 games. They’d usually need to finish 9-6 down a widen and they have 9 home games remaining. The distant worse charge is removing to 73 — done all a some-more formidable by dual games in San Antonio, any on a second night of a back-to-back. The large barrier of removing to 73 wins is Andre Iguodala’s injury, and we’ll get into that later.
Now, we know from a fan viewpoint (and hey, from an ESPN worker perspective), I’d like to see a Warriors play everybody on Saturday. we only don’t consider that’s in Golden State’s interest. What do we think, though? Is this a diversion a Warriors should cede?
Wright: Man, this is something we were only deliberating in a media work room during a ATT Center, and my meditative is this: Why give San Antonio any ammunition for a intensity rematch in a Western Conference Finals? Like you, we wish to see both teams do positively all probable to win this game. But during a same time, both teams can’t remove steer of a large picture, generally with them set to play twice some-more after this one.
So yes, this is unequivocally a diversion a Warriors should cede. The final time these teams played, a Spurs didn’t have Duncan, and LaMarcus Aldridge was still perplexing to figure out how to filigree with all his new teammates.
So on some level, we consider it’s critical for Golden State to try to benefit some form of feel for this new Spurs group that is starting to peak. But a Warriors shouldn’t do it during a responsibility of anyone’s health with a postseason approaching, and they unequivocally don’t need to display too many schematically.
Maybe this is a foolish question, yet it’s baffling to me how many critique Stephen Curry receives from some of a former NBA players. In your estimation, what’s a prevalent reason for all a criticism, and some-more importantly, how does Curry understanding with it?
Strauss: I’m not certain if Curry receives some-more critique than other good players, or if this is only a age we live in. Thanks to amicable media, we’re flooded with all matter of debate and frankly, we’re collectively dependant to reveling in it. That said, Curry has seemed to strike a haughtiness among some comparison players, maybe in partial due to his size. It competence be formidable for former greats to fathom how a normal-looking chairman is revolutionizing a game.
Curry has overwhelmed on a matter, and seems tolerably angry by a criticism. He goes out of his divided to equivocate criticizing specific players, so it contingency seem bizarre and capricious to be on a receiving end.
As for a Spurs, how’s Kawhi Leonard doing an enlargement of his role? Is his invulnerability holding up?
Wright: Ethan, he’s doing it shockingly well. When all of us started essay all these outrageous underline stories on Leonard, we kept watchful for a other feet to dump given all seemed to be function so fast. But a thing about it is Leonard has worked diligently his whole career to get to this point, and he’s still impossibly hungry.
What’s many considerable about Leonard’s ascent is his piety via it all, and a fact he has stretched his purpose off a court, too. As we know, Leonard is a male of few words. But strangely enough, when a media is station around in a locker room watchful for players to interview, Leonard is typically now one of a initial to volunteer, meaningful that due to his stretched role, he’s approaching to offer as a orator for a team.
Defensively, zero has altered as Spurs manager Gregg Popovich continues to muster Leonard to vacate a opponent’s many dangerous threat. And Leonard stays extravagantly successful. He blocked 3 shots in Thursday night’s win over a Portland Trail Blazers, and scored 22 points on 8-of-11 sharpened for his 50th uninterrupted home diversion scoring in double figures, that registers as a longest strain by a Spur given Duncan’s 68-game rip from 2004-06.
Speaking of Finals MVPs, Iguodala isn’t approaching to play when these teams meet, and we remember Steve Kerr observant “it’s a unequivocally large deal” that he’s out. How many does Iguodala meant to a Warriors, and what do they skip with him out of a lineup?
Strauss: Kerr is right about Iguodala, that is because I’m meditative Golden State should Popovich-punt this arriving diversion on Saturday (as in, rest a star players for a consequence of recovery). Remember, a game’s on a second finish of a back-to-back. Sans a Finals MVP, a Warriors’ dais is depleted, and expected won’t reason adult opposite San Antonio’s built reserves. As good as Golden State has been, feat is doubtful here.