Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Thompson, Bogut and Curry will be even better next season.
The Golden State Warriors hosted three games of the 2013 playoff series between the teams, and San Antonio had its share of fits when surrounded by the loud, yellowed-out fans in Oracle Arena. San Antonio survived the tests that Golden State issued during the conference semifinals, but the Dubs improved their roster this offseason.
With the addition of lockdown defender Andre Iguodala, the second matchup—but first in Oakland—between Golden State and the Spurs is a very underrated game. Iguodala thought the Warriors were really close to being a special team last year and, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), he hopes to be the missing piece.
Despite losing Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry in free agency, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Iguodala, David Lee, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut still pose quite a challenge to San Antonio.
A Spurs win rides on the shoulders of Tony Parker, who must lead his team into a spirited building, though that is not something unfamiliar to him. The Spurs were dominated on the glass throughout the playoff series, so if San Antonio settles for rushed shots, December 19 could be a long day.
Prediction: Parker keeps the Spurs under control for most the contest, but Golden State and its raucous crowd takes this home game by a single-digit margin. Of course, San Antonio took the first matchup between the teams, so the result is not very surprising.
TV Note: Catch this game on TNT at 9:30 p.m. EST.