The Golden State Warriors and the San Francisco Giants are both successful teams with similar winning formulas. Although the Warriors haven’t won two championships in the past three seasons, both of these teams are built on similar principles. Both teams have a good balance between homegrown talent and players that have come via trade or free agency, both teams showcase a few star players, but they both play like a team, and both teams have excellent team chemistry, stellar defense (or pitching, in the case of the Giants), and an underdog mentality.
In the 2013 NBA Playoffs, much of the discussion about the Golden State Warriors has been about their youth, their inexperience, their three-point shooting, and Stephen Curry’s rise to stardom. One aspect of the Warriors’ identity that hasn’t been discussed nearly enough though is their toughness.
The Golden State Warriors lost 129-127 to the Spurs last night in Game 1 of this Western Conference Semifinal matchup. The Warriors extended their losing streak at the AT&T Center to 29 games. Their last win in San Antonio was on February 14, 1997, and the last time they won a playoff game in San Antonio was in 1991.
Before the beginning of the 2013 season, Bruce Bochy stated that he would employ a left field platoon. After re-signing Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, and Jeremy Affeldt in the offseason, the Giants really only had to address one position in the offseason: left field.
Before the 2012 NBA Draft, some NBA analysts thought that Harrison Barnes would in fact be a better pro player than he was a college player at the University of North Carolina. They believed that he wasn’t able to showcase his true talents in North Carolina’s system, so in the NBA, he could play in a system that better suited his talents. Barnes played alongside three other lottery picks at UNC, Tyler Zeller, John Henson, and Kendall Marshall, and, because of that, he had to adjust his game.
Brandon Crawford is known around the league as being defensively very strong, but most people think that he can’t hit and will forever be an eighth-place hitter. The league needs to take notice of the amazing season that Crawford has had so far though. He is hitting .291 with 5 home runs, 14 RBI’s, a .354 OBP, and a .547 slugging percentage. As of April 28th, Crawford has the second highest batting average on the Giants, has hit the most home runs, is tied for second in RBI’s, is second in OBP, and first in slugging percentage.
Stephen Curry entered the 2012-2013 season as the only player in NBA history with career percentages of at least .470 from the field, .440 from three-point range, and .900 from the foul line. He was the runner-up for the 2009-2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He was a First Team All-Rookie selection. He won the Taco Bell Skills Challenge at the NBA All-Star Weekend in 2011. He was a Gold Medalist at the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey. He has had a 54-point game. He made the most three-point field goals (272) in a single season in NBA history. Yet, for some baffling reason, Steph Curry has not been recognized as a superstar. Until last night.