Few people expected the Spurs to beat the Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday, but even fewer could have expected the Spurs to trail by 28 at halftime and to lose by 36.
Well, that’s exactly what happened. The Spurs trailed 72-44 at the break and lost, 136-100.
“It was brutal,” San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy told Paul Nanos, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Gregg Popovich said, ‘Right from the start, we just didn’t believe we could win – and we played like it.’ That makes him sad.”
Popovich was his usual surly self after the game, taking various reporters to task for what he felt were asinine questions – including one from Ray Ratto, who asked Pop when he knew his team was in trouble.
Why does Pop answer so aggressively – or so passive-aggressively – so often?
“Well, I think he likes to work hard at it,” Purdy said. “I’ve always thought it takes more work to be screwed at than be a nice guy. You could tell he was upset. It was a fair question. What I wondered is if he could tell riding the bus over – because they came off the bus not ready to play. It was pretty brutal. Can we just skip ahead to June 1, please?
The Warriors are 10-0 in the playoffs. The Cavaliers are 8-0 and will play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Boston on Wednesday. Does either team have a weakness?
Purdy couldn’t speak for the Cavaliers, but the Warriors have a few. Sort of.
“The truth is, there isn’t much,” he said. “The Warriors still have this proclivity to come up with a silly turnover now and then that, in a close game, matters. So they do have a tendency to come up with a stupid turnover. The second thing is, their offensive rebound is often not outstanding because Durant is the tallest guy on the floor for them and Draymond Green is their quote ‘big guy’ underneath. Those are kind of the two areas that might give the Cavaliers an opening. And then last year in Game 7, the Warriors forgot you can drive to the basket and just kept firing up three-point shots and missing. They still get into that gear now and then. The acquisition of Durant has helped because he will put the ball on the floor and go to the rack if he has to.”
The Warriors will face the Spurs in San Antonio in Game 3 on Saturday. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ET.