A friend of mine texted me commenting on how small the loss was for the Spurs in yesterday’s game. Yes, it is true that the Spurs’ loss was only by two points. On paper, that’s hardly a significant loss. But the context of this game could make this small deficit a very significant loss, depending on the outcome of the next game.
The Spurs were playing like a championship team last night in the first half and up until Kawhi Leonard’s injury. It seems like every team not named the Cleveland Cavaliers fears the Warriors, but the Spurs did not seem to fear the Warriors for most of the game last night. They were playing the Warriors not with fear, but with a sense of determination to win the Western Conference Finals and return to the NBA Finals for a rematch of 2007’s Spurs-Cavaliers Finals series.
I think once the Spurs lost control of the game, they weren’t playing as confidently as they were with Leonard in the lineup. Needless to say, this is only just one game.
Game 2 will be extremely critical for the Spurs. If they can somehow pull off a win tomorrow night, they’ll find themselves taking this series back to San Antonio for Games 3 and 4 tied at 1-1, which will undoubtedly help their chances at winning this series.
If the Spurs can get themselves together and continue playing in championship mode for the remainder of this series, we may very well see them in the Finals again this year — for the first time in the post-Duncan era.
In macroeconomics, there’s a concept called deficit and surplus. If the government increases its debt, there is a deficit. If the government reduces its debt, there is a surplus. In sports terms, the Spurs experienced a huge surplus with Leonard in the game, but that huge surplus became a small deficit after Leonard’s injury.
Whether or not yesterday’s game was just a small deficit or a significant loss for the Spurs will be determined by who wins the game tomorrow. Let’s hope it was just a small deficit.