Go To:

Season Ticket Priority Wait List

X Learn More Secure your seats as soon as they become available.
Learn More

The last few weeks have been pretty exciting for Warriors fans, and the fun is not over yet. And neither is the Bloggers Roundtable. This time around, Rich Twu (Golden State of Mind) and Ben Cruz (Bleacher Report) share their take on the Warriors' first-round series victory over the Nuggets as well as look ahead at what's in store for the Western Conference semifinal series against the Spurs.

What do you make of David Lee’s Game 6 cameo?

Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
By all accounts, it seemed to be more of a ploy by Mark Jackson to amp up the energy, if it even needed that. I could be wrong, but I do believe the Warriors were down at the time by a couple buckets or more, but there was a timeout (strategically by George Karl?) when it was time for Lee to make his "Willis Reed" entrance. Jackson said as much later, talking about even calling a play for Lee about where Reed hit his shot (that, rather comically, a majority of the Warriors weren't around to see).

No one but the Warriors really know of the extent of Lee's injuries. He was in the warmup line and even dunked, but if you're going by the reported diagnosis, a "completely torn" hip flexor is *completely* torn. Overall it was extremely brave of Lee to lend his body to the cause. One wonders if his agent might be angry at Jackson for putting his client at risk of further pain, if not injury.

Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
It was the best one minute and 27 second appearance in NBA Playoff history.

In all seriousness, Lee's cameo was simply a good sign that he would possibly be able to play in the next series against the Spurs. Seeing him suit up and even be available might've given the Warriors the extra motivation they needed to close out the Nuggets in Game 6 and given how that game ended, they absolutely needed it.

Stephen Curry's 3-point shooting was a key factor in the Warriors' first-round series triumph against the Nuggets. (photo: Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty)

What were the most important factors in the Warriors winning their first-round playoff series against the Nuggets?

Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
As Stephen Curry goes, so go the Warriors. There's just something about him that's probably akin to the Oracle crowd rising in anticipation of a swish anytime he lofts of three-pointer. JA Adande had the best tweet during the turnover-prone close-out of Game 6, saying the Warriors were "having trouble clearing the puck." Curry was responsible for many of those miscues and it just seems the team either rallies behind him, or adds to the snowball. I've yet to ponder if Andrew Bogut's game is affected by Curry, so I'll leave that as a possible caveat, but for the most part, Steph was THE origin of all good things Warriors.

Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
Three things: Stephen Curry, Denver's inability to guard the three-point shot, Andrew Bogut.

After David Lee went down in Game 1, Curry went straight into NBA Jam-mode, firing away at will and more often than not, draining those shots (as long as those shots weren't in the first quarter). The Nuggets tried everything they could to throw Curry off his game but he still found a way to lead Golden State to victory even without his sidekick and the team's number two scoring option.

While Denver particularly had trouble stopping Curry, they had trouble in general stopping the Warriors from connecting from long-distance. For the series, Golden State shot 40% from three-point range. Seeing as how we all knew that would be one of the major weapons, the Nuggets were going to have to hold the Warriors to a much lower percentage if they were going to be the ones to advance to the second round.

Andrew Bogut was having a decent series against the Nuggets prior to game 6. He had posted double-digit rebounds and points in only one game each but his defensive presence was a big part of keeping the Warriors afloat. Then Game 6 hit and he flipped a switch. A big switch. Bogut's 14 point, 21 rebound, 4 block performance in Game 6 might've saved the Warriors' season. Golden State was struggling to find any type of rhythm on both ends of the floor to start the sixth game but Bogut re-energized the team and Oracle Arena with timely buckets and big blocks. It was the performance the Warriors and the fans have been waiting for since he was acquired last season. He picked the right time to break it out.

Andrew Bogut will be one of the Warriors charged with the task of slowing down Tim Duncan in the Western Conference semifinals. (photo: D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty)

What do you think of the Warriors’ chances against San Antonio?

Rich Twu | Golden State of Mind | @poormanscommish
What's the real status of David Lee; is his hip flexor healing before our eyes? Let's make the safe assumption that, by Monday afternoon, he's not able to contribute significantly. Then the big question is, whom do the Warriors start at the 4? Do they go small and try to spread the floor? What about Andris Biedrins?

My basketball purist side is urging me to lean toward defense, box-outs, and starting early transition breaks from missed shots. It's just supremely important for the Warriors to challenge shots and rebound. The more makes for the Spurs, the fewer transition opportunities for Steph and the Warriors.

I think the Warriors *do* have a chance against the Spurs. The emergence of Steph bordering on superstardom and now Bogut has changed the landscape a bit. It may even come down to bench play. On paper, I don't think things look so bad. I'll go out on a limb and predict a 7-game series with the Spurs winning. After all, that kind of prediction worked for the Warriors last series!

Ben Cruz | Bleacher Report | @cruzkontrol
It's going to be tough to win a series against a championship-caliber team like the Spurs. While they aren't the same defensive team they were a few seasons ago, the way they execute on offense and figure out ways to get stops is just deadly efficient. Oh yeah and they haven't won in San Antonio since Tim Duncan was drafted. Not exactly good odds there.

Furthermore, the Warriors are going to have to figure out a way to take care of the ball a lot better. Denver didn't take full advantage of all the turnovers Golden State committed but the Spurs absolutely will.

Finally, Gregg Popovich is an absolute coaching wizard. He knows exactly how to get his team to play winning basketball and will make the proper adjustments to slow down whatever the Warriors are doing well.

It may be a tough road ahead for the Warriors, but the fact that they're still on the road at all is an accomplishment in itself.


comments powered by Disqus