The best offense in the league overpowered the best defense when the Warriors beat the Spurs 120-90 last Monday. How can we use what we learned from this game as reference for future NBA picks?
Stephen Curry scored 37 points and hit six 3-pointers in three quarters and the Warriors put an end to a 13-game win streak by the Spurs, who are off to the best start in franchise history at 38-7 but were without Tim Duncan. The Spurs and Warriors had the highest combined win percentage ever for teams meeting at least 40 games into an NBA season.
The Warriors tied the 1995-96 Bulls for the best start in NBA history and appear to be unstoppable. With a 38-6 record and the best defense in the NBA, the Spurs were supposed to at least keep the game close against the Warriors, but that wasn't the case and Golden State has now won 39 straight home games, getting closer to the NBA record of 44 in a row, held by the 1995-96 Bulls.
Curry Took Over
Stephen Curry finished with 37 points on 12-of-20 shooting and five steals in 28 minutes and the Spurs couldn't stop him. As usual, Draymond Green had a complete game, adding 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
The Spurs didn't get the job done on both ends of the court but Kawhi Leonard managed to score 16 points and five rebounds. He was one of only three players scoring in double figures in what was easily San Antonio's worst game of the season.
Golden State came out firing just like when they beat Cleveland on the road last week. Curry kept hitting deep shots and leading every fast break.
Leonard guarded Curry at times but the Warriors still picked apart the Spurs defense, scoring 62 points in the first half.
Golden State's fast pace was too much for a San Antonio team that was down by as many as 33 points.
Just like after the game against the Cavaliers, there might be a long way to go in the regular season and the playoffs are always a completely different story but it's clear that the Warriors are by far the class of the NBA right now. Golden State is at +110 to win the NBA Championship at Bovada while the Spurs are at +260.
Best Offense Prevailed Over Best Defense (Without Tim Duncan)
Golden State was able to find holes in the San Antonio defense all night, shooting 51.8 percent form the field and getting open looks constantly.
The Warriors led 95-66 after three quarters against a Spurs defense that was giving up 89.8 points per game heading into this matchup.
Golden State also showed defensive skills, forcing 25 turnovers and holding San Antonio to 41.9 percent shooting.
The Spurs were without Tim Duncan, and it showed. Missing one of your leaders and best players, even at 39 years old, made a difference because he could have helped defensively. No Duncan to help run San Antonio's methodical offense and aid the defense proved that he is still a game-changer. After all, he is 56-10 in his career against Golden State. Duncan will likely be there for the next matchup with the Warriors, improving the Spurs' chances to beat the NBA odds; unfortunately, that game will take place until March 19 at San Antonio.
How much will the Western Conference landscape change by then? Does Monday's game truly reflect that no team has a chance to even cover ATS when Curry is on fire? Interesting decisions await before placing our NBA picks on both of these teams.