Golden State Warriors: 5 Keys to Beating the San Antonio Spurs

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Stephen Curry Finds His Shot

May 8, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during a post game interview against the San Antonio Spurs in game two of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the AT

San Antonio Head Coach Gregg Popovich put it best in his postgame presser:

“I thought it was polite of (Curry and Thompson) to at least take turns and not both be on fire on the same night,” Popovich said. “Maybe the next iteration (of that) will be neither one of them will be hot in Game 3; that’s what I’m hoping.”

Curry had a cold night on Wednesday. The wispy point guard’s 22 points came on just 7-for-22 shooting, thanks largely to a Spurs defense that carefully minded Curry for much of the first and third quarters.

Even taking that into consideration, it wasn’t as though he lacked for open shots. As Blue Man Hoop’s Joe Moore pointed out to me on Twitter, Thompson’s torrid second quarter forced Popovich to pull his best wing defender Kahwai Leonard away from Curry, which ostensibly should have given No.30  better looks at the basket. For the most part, that didn’t happen.

After getting off to a hot start in the first quarter, Curry settled into a distributor role for the remainder of the half. Repeated attempts to get going in the third quarter yielded only one field goal, a driving layup in transition.

Both Curry and Thompson are (obviously) capable of hitting a three-point shot and move to the basket off the dribble. When both members of the Golden State backcourt have hot hands, it puts defenses in an uncomfortable position where they can’t hedge toward the basket without surrendering jump shots, which in turn creates multiple opportunities for secondary scorers like Harrison Barnes and manchild wunderkind Draymond Green. P

opovich is very, very (VERY) good at playing matchup, but the variety of scoring and passing opportunities created by an efficient Curry may be too much for the Spurs to handle.