4. San Antonio Spurs – Prediction: Spurs win series 4-1
Yes, the Spurs are old and boring (if you don’t like smart basketball), but the Golden State Warriors have not won in San Antonio since Tim Duncan came into the league.
The Spurs have an old coach, two old All-Stars, a bunch of role players and Tony Parker, who has somehow remained criminally underrated despite his transformation into one of the most fundamentally sound point guards in the NBA.
Parker has become the type of point guard that gives opposing head coach’s nightmares. His efficiency from the mid-range is perfectly tailored to split the difference between Tiago Splitter and Duncan at the elbows and San Antonio’s never-ending fount of 3-point shooters at the perimeter. That, along with his elite passing, enables the Spurs to score from just about anywhere on the floor.
In his sole performance against the Warriors at home this season, Parker scored 25 points with 8 assists on 10-of-18 shooting. When you pair that with Tim Duncan’s bionic man efficiency, some timely offense from an aging Manu Ginobili and coach Greg Popovich’s impenetrable system of D-League talent, the Warriors would have almost no chance of advancing to the second round against San Antonio.
Even so, a playoff matchup that pits the young, inexperienced Warriors against a veteran Spurs squad wouldn’t be a bad thing in the long term. More on that later.