NBA Playoffs: Keys for the Golden State Warriors in the Second Round Series
They were able to get away with a lot of mistakes against the Nuggets, like at the end of the fourth quarter in Game 6, when they turned the ball over five times in just a few minutes.
However, they cannot make the same mistakes against the San Antonio Spurs and expect to win, as they are much more experienced and playoff-tested than the young Nuggets team.
They are the underdogs in this series once again, but the Warriors have a chance to knock out one of the best teams in the Western Conference if they focus on a few key details.
Steph Curry's Shooting
Without question, the Warriors' shooting performance in the first round was one of the major reasons why they advanced past the Nuggets, and the primary catalyst was Stephen Curry.
The scary thing is that it's not luck.
Curry has been shooting this way for his entire career. He's shooting 43.4 percent from beyond the arc in the playoffs, which is actually lower than his career three-point shooting percentage of 44.6.
Furthermore, he did it against one of the best perimeter defenders in the league in Andre Iguodala. Although the Spurs possess two great perimeter defenders in Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, it's hard to say that anybody could stop Curry when he's on a roll.
Andrew Bogut's Defensive Presence
The biggest difference maker during the playoffs has been Andrew Bogut.
He missed huge chunks of the regular season, but he's healthy now and is proving why he was the number one draft pick in 2005.
Bogut falls into the same category as Tyson Chandler because his presence on the floor changes the entire defensive culture of the Warriors. He instantly makes them into a top tier defensive team by anchoring and controlling the paint as well as any of the best defensive centers in the league.
With Bogut on the floor, Tony Parker and the rest of the slashers on the Spurs will find it much more difficult to drive down the lane and score.
Additionally, Bogut's exceptional post defense will be invaluable against the revitalized Tim Duncan.
The young Warriors should maintain a fast pace to this game, because they work much better in the open court than in a half-court set, especially against the Spurs.
The Spurs are still one of the better defensive teams in the league, but they are only 21st in the league in opponent's fast-break points, allowing their opponents to score 13.8 points in transition per game (per Team Rankings).
The Warriors should take full advantage of their ability to get up and down the court in a hurry. Although the Spurs roster consists of athletic perimeter players as well, the Warriors could create mismatches in transition with Curry at the head of a break.
Any team that has great shooters like the Warriors could get good shots on any possession, but transition scoring is the most efficient way to put up points on the board.