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List of Articles by Reylan Loberternos



NBA -- Spurs expose Warriors in 129-100 smackdown

By Reylan Loberternos
PhilBoxing.com
27 Oct 2016

FOLSOM, C​alifornia - When four-time scoring champion and former league MVP Kevin Durant opted to join the 73-9 Golden State Warriors last summer, the basketball world was quick to dub them as a ​"​super​" ​team that would just run over every opponent they face.

​But b​ack-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awardee Kawhi Leonard and ​the ​ San Antonio Spurs​ ​​stunned the Warriors with a ​129-100 drubbing on opening night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California​.​

Leonard was superb on both ​ends​ of the court with a career high 35 points to go along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals and a perfect 15-for-15 from the charity stripe. LaMarcus Aldridge complemented Kawhi's great performance with a huge double-double​ -- ​26 points and ​14 boards​.​​ But the biggest surprise of the night was ​Spurs ​sophomore guard Jonathon Simmons​ who exploded ​ for 20 points​, ​ outscoring Durant 15 to 14 at the half.

Durant paced the Warriors with 27 points on an 11 of 18 field goal shooting. Versatile big man Draymond Green was his usual self, stuffing the stat​s​ sheet with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals and 1 block. Reigning back-to-back MVP Steph Curry chipped in 26 points and shot 3 for 10 from behind the arc, but his 'splash brother' Klay Thompson was however a huge disappointment with only 11 points​.​

The Spurs bench outscored their counterparts 54​-​16​, a whopping 38-point​ margin. ​

These Warriors are top-heavy, and the loss of reliable key players ​such as ​Andrew Bogut, Marreese Speights, Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa, and Brandon Rush to accommodate the entry of Kevin Durant has definitely altered the depth and chemistry of the team.

The Spurs may have lost a legend in Tim Duncan to retirement, but the key guys are back. There is continuity and it definitely manifested in this monumental upset of a game.

Apart from newcomer Pau Gasol, who only scored 2 points in 18 minutes of play, looking lost at times on the defensive end, the rest of the Spurs were clicking on all cylinders. They outrebounded the Warriors by 20, which resulted to 12 more field goal attempts and 8 more free throws.

This is only the first game of the season. There are 81 more regular season games to go for both teams. The Spurs were in mid-season form, not discounting the fact that they didn't even have starting shooting guard Danny Green, who is currently sidelined due to a quad injury. The Warriors are still expected to win a bunch of games... but they have to address the big man issue really quick if they are to go deep into the playoffs, let alone win the championship. They need rim protection and rebounding. The Spurs were killing them with easy and/or uncontested layups and offensive put-backs all night. Good for them they still have the entire regular season minus one game to try to address these issues. As for the Spurs, head coach Gregg Popovich would still want his team to fly under the radar, as always... but that would be much tougher now that the world has taken notice.

Comments are highly appreciated. You may email them to reylanloberternos@yahoo.com.ph
Follow me on twitter @reylan_l


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