Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs showed the basketball world that they are still contenders out west after beating the new-look Golden State Warriors 129-100. This score may have shocked some people since critics have hinted towards the Spurs decline without Tim Duncan.
San Antonio got off to a strong start, leading 10-4 before the Warriors went on a 10-2 run to go up 16-12. At that point, it looked like Golden State was about to blow the game wide open. Head coach Greg Popovich smartly put in his bench to give San Antonio more of a scoring punch since the starters were struggling offensively in the first quarter. Speaking of the Spurs bench, the second quarter was the Jonathon Simmons show which he scored 15 points through two quarters and it looks like he has taken his game to the next level from where it was last season. He finished the game with 20 points and should get the game ball for how well he played on both ends of the court.
Everyone on the Spurs outside of DeWayne Dedmon played a solid game against the Warriors and Pop will probably limit his minutes if he continues to play that poorly. San Antonio just looked a step better than Golden State because every time they attempted to make a big run Lamarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard would answer with points of their own. Aldridge finished with 26 points after all this speculation of his unhappiness with the Spurs a week before the season started. He shut those doubters up by having a strong first game to open the season and looked more comfortable than ever.
San Antonio just looked a step better than Golden State because every time they attempted to make a big run, Aldridge and Leonard would answer with points of their own. Aldridge finished with 26 points after all this speculation on whether he is unhappy with the Spurs a week before the season started. He shut those doubters down having a strong first game to open the season and looked more comfortable than ever out there.
The Warriors sorely missed Andrew Bogut’s presence from last year in this game because San Antonio was able to get whatever they wanted inside all night long and adding to that, their bench gave them next to nothing which is the reason why they lost this game. They need to give a player like Javale McGee more minutes against bigger teams because they will see more of the same if they don’t adjust. Kevin Durant and Steph Curry played well, scoring 27 and 26 respectively. The other members of the Big 4, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson didn’t play well, but you could attribute to the fact that they weren’t involved in the offense enough. The Warriors will figure it out, but it will take 25 or so games for this team to gel. The most impressive player on the court had to be Leonard as he had a career night scoring 35 points and if he continues to play like he did against the Warriors this could be the beginning of an MVP campaign for him.