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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at 7:00 PM

Things are still jumbled enough in the middle of the projected Western Conference brackets right now that it’s difficult to know if and when the top seeded Golden State Warriors would run into the surging San Antonio Spurs in the postseason. They might meet as early as the second round if San Antonio can rise into the 4/5 spot in the brackets. It might not be until the finals if the Spurs can win from the hole they dug themselves earlier this season. Maybe Sunday’s meeting will be the ONLY time these teams square off until next season!

The West is going to be something. Once you get past obvious #1 Golden State, you have teams in the upper half of the draw who are Power Rated to be WORSE than many in the lower half of the draw. On paper…the Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers rate out as second/third in respected computer/market Power Ratings. Houston and Memphis are doing what they can to maintain those spots in the actual standings. What a mess!

For now, let’s focus on Sunday’s battle. Golden State may not bring all of its weaponry because it’s a back-to-back spot after a Saturday night game in Dallas. They were supposedly going to “take off” the TNT game vs. the Clippers this past Tuesday and won anyway! Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats have to say about the Warriors and the Spurs heading into this game and the postseason…


Offensive Efficiency

Golden State: 109.6 per 100 possessions (ranked #1 in the NBA)

San Antonio: 105.8 per 100 possessions (ranked #7 in the NBA)

Golden State has one of the best offenses the league has ever seen. They’re not only the most efficient, but they play at the fastest pace. Talk about volume! And, they’re doing that in the era of the most sophisticated defenses…while playing in the brutal Western Conference. San Antonio has surged into the top 10 with a great second half of the season. They’re sure peaking at the right time. Though, some of their recent form has to be taken in context. Many opponents are either tanking or coasting, making it easier to compile stats. The Warriors have been elite all season.


Defensive Efficiency

Golden State: 97.6 per 100 possessions (ranked #1 in the NBA)

San Antonio: 99.6 per 100 possessions (ranked #2 in the NBA)

This may surprise many of you. The mainstream media does a HORRIBLE job of explaining defense. Too many pundits still look at points allowed instead of getting stops. This hurts the fast-paced Warriors, who are amazing at denying baskets. The Spurs are also much better than realized. This isn’t an “old” team who can’t guard anybody. They’re second only to the Warriors in per-possession efficiency!


Pace Ranking

Golden State: #1

San Antonio: #18

It will be interesting to see if Golden State slows down much in the playoffs. It’s tougher to run against elite teams who want to play halfcourt wars. The spurs are right in the middle of the league pace-wise, and can thrive either way. Can Golden State thrive if others slow them down?


Against the Spread

Golden State: 45-29-1

San Antonio: 38-36-2

The market was way too slow early on acknowledging the great, even historic form of Golden State. They’re still 16 games over .500 against the number even while taking their foot off the gas a bit in recent weeks. The Spurs started very slowly, but really caught fire late in their “rodeo” trip. The market was slow to react to that particular surge as well.

JIM HURLEY will wait to see who’s playing or resting for Golden State before making a final decision here. It could be a pass…or we may have something very special. Be aware that it’s a GREAT day in the NBA! Don’t sit out Sunday to wait for the National Championship game Monday Night. Sunday’s schedule includes:

*James Harden vs. Russell Westbrook early on ABC when Houston visits OKC

*Chicago vs. Cleveland and LeBron James in a renewal of a great rivalry

*Miami at Indiana featuring the return of Paul George for the Pacers

*Then…you get to the Warriors and Spurs on the schedule!

You can purchase the final word for Sunday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-888-777-4155 Sunday morning before Rockets/Thunder tips off or during normal business hours Monday.

Back tomorrow to preview that college championship game…then we jump into the bases for a bit. Here’s what’s coming up in the NOTEBOOK…

Monday: NCAA Championship Preview

Tuesday: MLB Preview…Los Angeles Angels vs. Seattle Mariners

Wednesday: MLB Preview…San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers

Thursday: NBA TV Preview…Chicago at Miami or Portland at Golden State on TNT

Friday: MLB Series Preview…Detroit Tigers at the Cleveland Indians

Monday April 13: MLB Series Preview…Washington Nationals at the Boston Red Sox

It’s a basketball and baseball BONANZA ahead this spring and summer. Saddle up for your ride to riches here at JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!


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Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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