The Warriors are one of the contenders to win the Western Conference this season. That is a unique feeling to the players on that roster. That feeling is not unique to the veterans on the Spurs’ roster.
Last season, the upstart Warriors met the Spurs in the second round of the playoffs. The series went 6 games, and the Warriors gave San Antonio everything they could handle. The Spurs beat the Warriors by just two points on Friday night when the Warriors were without Stephen Curry, and they left an impression on Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich, via USA Today:
“Well they’re for real,” Popovich said of the Warriors. “They’re really good offensively, (and) obviously they’re very talented. They’ve got an inside and outside game, and they’re really capable of scoring. If that was just it, then you’d call them a dangerous team where on any given night they can do you in. But they’re beyond that, because (Warriors coach) Mark (Jackson) has done a hell of a job in giving them a mentality, an aggressive, physical mentality defensively.
“He’s been demanding in that regard, and fortunately he’s got a group of character guys who want to do it right and get to the next level, and that’s what it takes. He initiated that last year. That takes them from a dangerous team to a solid, competitive team that can play with anybody. That’s who they are. Now it’s just a matter of being persistent and consistent about that, and reducing mistakes and understanding that it’s a long season. They’re definitely on the right path.”
The fact that Popovich respects the Warriors says something. They have been the class of the West for over a decade, and no team has been more consistent. When you watch these games, you can tell that the teams have mutual respect for each other.