The Spurs are not beating the Warriors.
Having said that, let me now couch it a bit: barring a series of events as numbered as they are unlikely, the Spurs will not beat the Warriors four times in seven chances.
So why care? Because this might be the most important series for the future of the Spurs franchise.
The Warriors are the benchmark, the gauge upon which every other Western Conference team will be measured for the foreseeable future. For the Spurs to reclaim their spot at the top, they will necessarily need to get past this seemingly unbeatable Warriors team.
The first round of data gathering begins today.
This series is a science lab, a four to seven game experiment to begin to truly understand this Warriors team, what makes them tick, and where they might ultimately be vulnerable.
What sorts of players will be instrumental in beating them? Is size an effective counter? Is length mixed with speed more important? What do we need from the PG position to counter Curry? Are they emotionally vulnerable?
We don’t have enough data right now, and the team is too good as constructed. The Spurs will bust their asses, but ultimately they’ll (probably) not have enough. And that’s ok. Every game, every quarter, every possession is a learning opportunity.
In 2013, the Warriors pushed the Spurs unexpectedly in the Western Conference Semifinals. It was the first hint of what that team could be. Thankfully, the Spurs were able to get their 5th ring before the Warriors fully realized their Death Star potential.
The hope is, at some point in the near future, the Spurs – who helped to spawn this monster – will be the team that can ultimately slay them.
But it ain’t happening in the next few weeks. We’re still somewhere between the first and second act of this story.
So sit back and enjoy every moment of this series. We’re playing with house money here; there’s nothing to lose. Nobody expects us to win, and there’s literally no pressure on the team. Hopefully there will be moments of great joy and – more importantly – grand discovery.
We’ll take what we learn in this series and keep applying it, building the formula, finding a way to beat these Warriors. This series isn’t about now; it’s about the future.
Game 1 tips off in a couple hours.
Go Spurs Go.