Friday, March 18, 2016

One Down

With a fantastic late flurry in the fourth, the Warriors blew open what had been a close game against Dallas, winning 130-112.  It was yet another record-setter and record-tying performance.

Now the biggest challenge of the season so far: an overnight trip to San Antonio.  To make it more exciting, Andrew Bogut was injured and probably won't play against the Spurs.  That's the biggest personnel loss so far--especially against the Spurs, and especially on defense.

The Splash Brothers were both "on" in Dallas (combining for 70 points), and even though Steph Curry proved in Dallas that he's essentially unguardable, they'll both need to be on big time in San Antonio (which means a back to back big night for Klay Thompson) if the Warriors are going to do what they haven't done in this century, and what nobody has done in San Antonio this season: beat the Spurs in their own building.  If they do, it will be their most spectacular win of the season.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants have fans holding their breath as the injury bug that ate their season last year beginning in spring training has been biting again.  So far, nothing long term, but it's ridiculous.  Several veterans have lost playing time because of injuries, but the most maddening and ridiculous have been to two new Giants--pitcher Cueto throws one pitch and gets hit in the head with a line drive and in his first game playing center field  Denard Span injures his shoulder on the first fly ball hit to him.

But at least so far, the difference is that the injuries weren't serious.  Cueto survived without a concussion, Matt Cain recovered to pitch a great game today against the Padres, with four Giants homering, including Span.  MadBum has recovered from his two small injuries fast enough to start Saturday.

It's actually been a pretty good spring for the Giants, especially with eye-popping hitting by young players who will go back to the minors (or already have) but who make the Giants' future (in some cases, near future) look good.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

None Bigger

Golden State finished its home stand still undefeated there, with 61 wins in all for the season so far, thanks to a drubbing of the New York Knicks on Wednesday.  Their home winning streak is at 50, as they keep extending the record.

But their biggest remaining challenge of the regular season is next: back to back road games at Dallas and San Antonio, Friday and Saturday.  One of their 6 losses came in Dallas, and they haven't won in San Antonio (which is also undefeated this year at home) in 20 years, not since the Spurs first featured Tim Duncan.

Plus the Warriors are missing two important pieces:  Andre Iguodala and Festus Ezeli, both injured.  They won't even make the trip.

The drama of the San Antonio game also has to do with that home winning streak.  No team has ever gone through the NBA season undefeated at home.  Right now Golden State and the Spurs are.  Counting this game, the Warriors have two games in San Antonio.  The Spurs have one more at Golden State.

As for the big record, the Warriors have 15 games left.  They must win 12 to break the 72 victory record. At this point, the Warriors are 4 games ahead of the Spurs for the best record this season, their number one goal since it affects the playoffs.  Every game is important.  But there are none bigger than the two this weekend.