Do the Spurs have the Warriors figured out?
Harrison Barnes has back-to-back games of 25 or more points, but the Warriors haven't got their expected output from their stars. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
The Warriors dropped Game 5 to the Spurs on Tuesday night and now return to Oracle Arena for a real “must-win” game. If the Warriors don’t win on Thursday night in Oakland, their season ends.
[RELATED: Warriors-Spurs central]
Some thoughts heading into Game 5:
--The Warriors haven’t lost back-to-back games this postseason – so what makes you think they’ll lose two in a row now? This entire NBA playoffs the Warriors have bounced back from defeat. They’ve shown resiliency at many points of the season, whether it be Brandon Rush’s early season injury, Andrew Bogut’s uncertain status much of the year or David Lee’s playoff injury.
If you believe in track records and you think that past performance does help indicate future success, then there’s no reason to believe the Warriors won’t play well on Thursday.
Hey, they’re 4-0 after losses this postseason.
--Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson couldn’t get much to go down on Tuesday. They combined to go just 6-for-22 from the floor and had just one 3-pointer between them. Thompson couldn’t even squeeze off a 3-pointer, the only time that’s happened this season.
[RECAP: Spurs 109, Warriors 91]
As bad as they were – and Curry acknowledged he was “terrible, plain and simple” – the Warriors were still within striking distance with seven minutes remaining, down just 90-82.
Bottom line is it’s tough to envision the Warriors’ backcourt playing any worse than they did in Game 5, and especially at the defensive end, where neither Curry nor Thompson was a positive.
A bounce-back game for Curry or Thompson or maybe even both seems possible. And if one or both does bounce back, a Game 7 becomes very realistic.
--On the one hand, it’s a very positive sign that rookie Harrison Barnes has had back-to-back games of 25 or more points. On the other hand, that Barnes has had to score that much is an indication that the Warriors aren’t getting enough production out of their star players.
Barnes’ big Game 5, in which he had 25 points and seven rebounds, was borne out of Curry and Thompson not being able to get enough done. It’s also a result of the Warriors being down a very important scorer in David Lee.
Although Lee has been able to contribute more and more as the series goes along, he’s still not close to 100 percent and doesn’t closely resemble the double-double player of the regular season.
Make no mistake, Barnes is doing a phenomenal job of picking up the slack and bursting onto the scene, but it’s got a lot to do with the fact that other guys aren’t doing that.