The San Antonio Spurs, fresh off of a serial-killeresque dismembering of the L.A. Clippers on Thursday, are in Oakland tonight to take on the Golden State Warriors.
Based on the way Tony Parker and Co. took it to the Clips, it might be a good idea for the Dubs to try not to think about what what’s in store for them this evening. But where, oh where, could there be a suitable distraction to get their minds off of the strong chance that San Antonio will extend its comically dominant streak of wins over the Warriors to 17?
Yep, tonight’s the night Golden State debuts its widely panned, bright yellow jersey tops. And have I mentioned there’ll be sleeves?
Wardrobe aside, the Warriors will enter tonight’s contest with decidedly mixed emotions. On the one hand, they stopped their six-game skid by beating the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 20 and got solid performances from both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. On the other, both Charles Jenkins and Jeremy Tyler are gone.
In an effort to dip just under the luxury tax next season, GM Bob Myers shipped Tyler to the Atlanta Hawks and Jenkins to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Dubs took back virtually nothing in a purely financial decision.
For most teams, losing the last two players on the bench might not amount to much, but the Warriors are a uniquely tight-knit group. So an intrusion into the club’s chemistry by the business side of the NBA could have more significant effects than usual.
If the Warriors’ collective mental states are sound in the aftermath of the roster shakeup and the Spurs rest some of their stars on the second night of a back-t0-back set and Gregg Popovich’s crew is distracted by the gaudy new uniforms and San Antonio’s transportation to Oracle stalls, causing an arrival sometime in the second quarter, the Warriors have a shot tonight.
Otherwise, there’s just no reason to believe Golden State is good enough to compete with a Spurs team that is in absolute top form. Hopefully, that completes my complicated effort at a reverse jinx.
WHO: San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors
WHERE: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
WHEN: Friday, 7:30 p.m. PST, CSN Bay Area
AT STAKE: The impossible: ending San Antonio’s 17-game win streak against the Warriors.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Stephen Curry. Tony Parker utterly dominated Chris Paul in the Spurs 116-90 beating of the Clippers on Thursday night. If Curry continues his trend of allowing opposing point guards to run free, Parker could light him up in a similar fashion.
PREDICTION: The Spurs win big and the Dubs wear the ugliest uniforms in the recent history of professional sports. I’m guaranteed to bat at least .500 on those. Spurs 109, Warriors