Mike Brown has gifted a progression in his 18 years on an NBA bench: a Coach of a Year award, 3 firings, a Finals berth. But Thursday night, as he watched a Spurs lambaste Houston in Game 6 to set adult a date with his Warriors in a Western Conference finals, Brown was stunned.
“It was usually shocking,” Brown, Golden State’s behaving conduct coach, pronounced after use Friday.
That San Antonio was though Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker usually reinforced what Brown, a former Spurs assistant, already knew well: In Gregg Popovich’s egalitarian, movement-oriented system, a importance is on creation a right read, not anticipating a specific player.
That plans has been a pushing force behind 5 NBA titles and, in any of a past dual years, a league’s second-best regular-season record. With Game 1 of a discussion finals Sunday during Oracle Arena, a Warriors are perplexing to solve a San Antonio group that has prolonged given it problems.
But notwithstanding their pedigree, a Spurs face prolonged odds. The Warriors are restricted favorites to win a Western Conference finals.
That’s some-more a covenant to Golden State’s prevalence than a Spurs’ deficiencies. This is a Warriors group that, including a unchanging season, has won 23 of a past 24 games. In opening a playoffs 8-0 for a initial time in authorization history, Golden State has won by an normal of 16.5 points. It has usually played 4 mins of “clutch time,” tangible as a final 5 mins of a diversion when a measure is within 5 points, for a whole postseason.
But Brown, who shadowed San Antonio while between jobs final season, is distant too informed with Popovich-coached teams to blink his subsequent opponent. The Warriors are 207-39 over a past 3 unchanging seasons, though usually 5-5 opposite a Spurs. In Golden State’s Oct. 25 opener, one of usually dual games opposite San Antonio this deteriorate in that both teams were nearby full strength, it was blitzed by a Spurs, 129-100.
The drubbing was a box investigate in how Popovich’s patrol could invert a Warriors in a seven-game series. One of a many fit teams in NBA history, Golden State is scarcely unbeatable when trade shots with a opponent. San Antonio eviscerated it in a opener by forcing 16 turnovers and corralling 21 descent rebounds to try 13 some-more shots.
“They’re a machine,” Warriors brazen Kevin Durant said. “They usually keep going during you, no matter who’s on a court.”
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With Leonard sidelined in Game 6 by a left ankle injury, a Spurs played Thursday with an appetite and concentration that has done them a championship contender most of a past dual decades. The Rockets frequency threatened as MVP claimant James Harden scored fewer points than San Antonio rookie Dejounte Murray.
But in a seven-game set opposite a Warriors, a Spurs have small possibility unless Leonard is healthy. Parker is out for a rest of a postseason with a ruptured quad postulated in Game 2 opposite Houston. Thursday aside, Leonard is a block for San Antonio on both sides of a ball, a singular Defensive Player of a Year claimant who is also able of erupting for 30 points anytime.
“Sometimes when you’re blank your best player, we can see — we don’t know if fear is a right word, though we can see a miss of assuredness,” Brown pronounced of Thursday’s Game 6. “I didn’t feel that during all from a really beginning.”
Therein lies a Spurs’ biggest asset: a self-belief fake from postulated success. Now, in a initial playoff array opposite Golden State given 2013, San Antonio hopes arrogance can assistance it overcome a talent deficit.
“Their complement is so good that they always know what they’re doing,” Warriors core JaVale McGee said.
Connor Letourneau is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @Con_Chron
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