San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors: Game 4 Postgame Grades and Analysis

Peter EmerickSenior Writer IIMay 12, 2013

San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors: Game 4 Postgame Grades and Analysis

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    The Golden State Warriors showed that they have some serious heart with a thrilling 97-87 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs that ties the series up at two games apiece.

    With the game tied at 84 at the start of overtime, the Warriors took over, outscoring the Spurs 13-3 in the final five minutes.

    There were a number of times when the Warriors looked like they were ready to throw in the towel and just let the Spurs take this series over.   

    The Warriors trailed the Spurs by eight points at the half after they were held scoreless for a 7:10 span of the first quarter, which included an impressive 14-0 run for the Spurs. 

    Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were held scoreless for the final 21 minutes of the first half, but luckily they didn't let that hold them back; they combined for 32 points on 12-of-28 shooting from the field. 

    But the real difference in the second half was Andrew Bogut's presence in the paint and his ability to commit just one foul in the final 29 minutes of the game, including overtime.

    Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili combined for 40 points, but they cooled off in the second half when the Warriors turned the pressure up.

    The series heads back to San Antonio for a pivotal Game 5 on Tuesday night that both teams desperately need to win. The Warriors have already proven that they can win on the road, and that has the Spurs worried as the series now becomes a best-of-three series. 

Point Guards

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    Tony Parker, Spurs

    Tony Parker cooled off after his 25-point first half performance in Game 3, with just six points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first two quarters of Game 4.

    While he heated up in second half, ending the game with 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting, he didn't facilitate the offense to his teammates, which hurt the Spurs down the stretch.

    Parker only dished out three assists, and he didn't sink a single three-pointer, which allowed the Warriors to play off of his perimeter game.

    Defensively speaking, he couldn't slow down the Warriors' backcourt down the stretch. That proved costly for the Spurs as their eight-point lead with under five minutes left slipped away.

    Overall Grade: C+

     

    Stephen Curry, Warriors

    If I told you that Steph Curry shot 66.7 percent from the field in the first half, you'd think the Warriors would've dominated this one by the time both teams headed to the locker room for halftime. 

    That wasn't the case, because Curry put up just three field goals in the entire first half.

    Curry came out firing in the third quarter though, with eight quick points that pulled the Warriors back within just one point with 8:20 left in the third quarter. 

    He ended the night with an extremely well-balanced performance of 22 points, six rebounds and four assists, all while shooting 7-of-15 from the floor and 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. 

    I'm not sure how badly injured Curry's ankle truly was, but he made it look like an insignificant injury with an efficient performance. The Warriors are hoping that that is true as this series becomes a best-of-three series. 

    Overall Grade: A+

Shooting Guards

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    Danny Green, Spurs

    With the Spurs looking for offense in the second half, Danny Green started to put up a lot of shots.

    Unfortunately, he didn't make a high percentage of them.

    Green ended the afternoon with 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting from the field and 2-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. He did grab seven rebounds, but in the end Green's inefficient offensive performance held the Spurs back down the stretch. 

    San Antonio won't survive in the next two or three games if Green puts up 13 field goals and makes just 30 percent of those shots. 

    Overall Grade: C+

     

    Klay Thompson, Warriors

    Klay Thompson looked frustrated for the majority of Game 4, but instead of letting the Spurs get to him, he channeled his frustration into a respectable performance with 10 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists.

    Thompson couldn't find his deep range at all, and like a smart player does, he started to take his game to into the paint instead of trying to continue to find his range.

    It's encouraging to see Thompson mature into the kind of player who knows when to defer to his teammates rather than keep shooting while he's struggling.

    The Warriors could've used some more offense from Thompson, but he impacted the game in other ways, especially defensively down the stretch against Tony Parker.

    Overall Grade: B-

Small Forwards

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    Kawhi Leonard, Spurs 

    In spite of his 11 points and eight rebounds, Kawhi Leonard didn't help the Spurs all that much. 

    He shot just 4-of-11 from the field and surprisingly committed three turnovers. Leonard also had the non-highlight of the game when he missed a point-blank one-handed putback slam in overtime.

    Leonard's defensive focus wasn't present in Game 4. He switched off Harrison Barnes too often, and his lack of intensity on the defensive glass played a major role in the Warriors' 19 offensive rebounds.

    I'm sure Tony Parker and Tim Duncan will let the young one hear about his performance on the flight home, because if the Spurs want to win two of the next three, they'll need more consistency and efficiency from Leonard.

    Overall Grade: C+

     

    Harrison Barnes, Warriors

    With no one helping Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson out in the first quarter, Harrison Barnes stepped up and scored eight points—including a six-point streak after the Warriors were held scoreless for a 7:10 span.

    He ended the first half with 10 points and six rebounds, but he shot 3-of-12 from the floor.

    Barnes continued his offensive onslaught throughout the second half and overtime, ending the afternoon with 26 points and 10 rebounds (five offensive) on 9-of-26 shooting from the field.

    Say what you will about the fact that it took 26 field goals for Barnes to hit the 26-point mark, but there's no doubt that the Warriors needed each and every one of those 26 points.

    The most impressive part of Barnes' Game 4 performance were the five offensive boards he grabbed, which gave the Warriors second-chance opportunities that they desperately needed. 

    Barnes was the X-factor in Game 4, and while he needs to be more efficient moving forward, the Warriors need him to continue to be aggressive.

    Overall Grade: B

Power Forwards

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    Tim Duncan, Spurs

    Late in the game, Tim Duncan went from being the "Big Fundamental" to being a player who's playing in his 16th NBA season.

    He ended the fourth quarter and overtime with just four points.

    Duncan did end the game with an impressive 19 points and 15 rebounds (four offensive). But he shot just 7-of-22 from the floor (31.8 percent) and he missed four of his nine free throws, which is shocking for Duncan.

    It was a different game for Duncan when Andrew Bogut was out on the floor, as Bogut was able to minimize Duncan's size by forcing him to win the game outside of the paint. Unfortunately for the Spurs, Duncan couldn't get it done.

    Overall Grade: B-

     

    Carl Landry, Warriors

    Carl Landry was exposed for being the undersized power forward that he is.

    He ended Game 4 with just six points on 2-of-9 shooting, but he was able to grab five rebounds and dish out four assists.

    While Landry lacked the size and physicality to battle with guys like Duncan in the paint, the Spurs couldn't take the heart and hustle out of Landry—which was a difference-maker down the stretch.

    Landry's intensity on the glass late in the game was integral to the Warriors' success, as he grabbed an offensive board with 2:47 left in the fourth that kept the Warriors alive.

    Overall Grade: C+

Centers

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    Tiago Splitter, Spurs

    With five points, three assists and two rebounds in 19 minutes, Tiago Splitter wasn't really a factor in any facet of Game 4.

    He wasn't productive offensively, and he certainly didn't impact the game on the defensive side of the ball.

    For the Spurs to win this series, they'll need more production from their role players, and that includes Splitter.

    Overall Grade: D+

     

    Andrew Bogut, Warriors

    A lack of disciplined play held Andrew Bogut and the Warriors back in this one. In just six minutes of action he picked up three fouls, which sent him to the bench. 

    Without much depth in the frontcourt, the Warriors couldn't handle the Spurs while Bogut was riding the pine in the first half. 

    It was like Bogut flipped a switch at halftime, though. He came out defensively focused and disciplined. 

    He ended the game with five points and four turnovers, but he balanced that inefficiency with 18 rebounds (five offensive) and a stellar level of intensity on defense.

    Bogut was an absolute force in the paint in the second half. He made life miserable for everyone that ventured into the paint, and while he only blocked one shot, he contested nearly every shot and made it difficult for the Spurs to get easy buckets around the rim.

    The Warriors have to thank Bogut for finally playing a disciplined half of basketball in this series. When he's playing focused and disciplined, the Warriors are very hard to beat.

    Overall Grade: A-

Sixth Men

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    Jarrett Jack, PG Warriors

    Without much production from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the first half, Jarrett Jack stepped up his game—ending the first two quarters with 12 points and four rebounds.

    In the second half, it was more of the same for Jack. He split up his time controlling the offense with Curry, but he continued to attack the Spurs defense, scoring 24 huge points on 9-of-16 shooting.

    Most impressively, Jack put up just one three-point field goal—which he made—which shows his discipline on offense. He also filled out the stat sheet with seven rebounds, four assists and just two turnovers.

    Jack's play late in the game, which included three straight baskets with under four minutes in the fourth, was pivotal to the Warriors' success. When Jack plays efficiently, the Spurs can't contain him, and that showed in Game 4.

    Overall Grade: A+ 

     

    Manu Ginobili, SG Spurs

    They should rename the first quarter as the Ginobili quarter in this series, because he absolutely owned the Warriors in the first 12 minutes, with 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc. 

    Ginobili was a major reason why the Spurs dominated the first half of Game 4, with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 shooting from trifecta land.

    He cooled off a bit in the second half, ending the game with 21 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the field and 5-of-10 shooting from deep.

    Down the stretch, he missed two big three-pointers late in the fourth quarter that kept the Warriors in the game and ultimately led to the Spurs' collapse.

    Defensively speaking, Ginobili was a beast with three steals and two blocks. He played consistent defense on both Curry and Thompson, but sometimes you just can't stop greatness.

    Overall Grade: B

Benches

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    San Antonio Spurs Bench

    The Spurs bench, without Ginobili's 21 points, was absolutely awful. 

    As a unit, they combined for just four points on 2-of-8 shooting and committed three turnovers and nine fouls.

    Gary Neal's two-point performance was rather underwhelming, as was Boris Diaw's zero-point performance. 

    If the Spurs want to win this series, they'll need much more consistent production from their second unit.

    Overall Grade: D+

     

    Golden State Warriors Bench

    While the Warriors bench, minus Jack's 24-point explosion, only added four points on 1-of-8 shooting from the field, it made up for it in the paint and on the glass.

    Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli and David Lee combined for 13 rebounds (five offensive), and their defensive pressure in the interior was a real difference-maker. 

    With Andrew Bogut sitting on the bench to finish the first half, their pressure on both sides of the glass kept the Warriors' hopes alive and ultimately led to their comeback win.

    Doing the little things can sometimes make a big difference, and that was the case for the Warriors bench in Game 4.

    Overall Grade: B