Nick Wright reveals why the Kawhi-less Spurs offer no resistance to the Golden State Warriors

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In his reaction to Golden State easily defeating San Antonio 116-101 last night in game two of round one in the 2018 NBA Western Conference Playoffs, Nick Wright reveals to Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe why he believes the Spurs do not have enough firepower to compete with Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and and the rest of the Warriors.

- No. I'd love to tell you yes. But the answer's no. This is-- they just-- they played as well as they could for the first half of that game.

I thought the Spurs did well defensively, particularly in the first quarter. They made some shots. Patty Mills had a huge 4-point play to try to get himself going.

And I'm like, man, the Spurs played great in that first quarter. They're up 6 points. Like they-- if you play as well as you can, and you're up 6 points, you know trouble is coming.

The third quarter has been the Warriors' quarter all year long. And my biggest takeaway from this game is more about the long-term projection for Golden State, because it does seem like Andre Iguodala has figured out this whole pacing thing, because Iggy can look-- he looked washed the beginning of last year and then was valuable in the playoffs. He had his worst shooting year ever this year.

Hit three huge 3-pointers yesterday and was active. Almost had a massive dunk. Just missed it off the back of the rim. If that is what Iggy is-- forget even the shooting, just the athleticism-- of what Iggy's going to look like these playoffs moving forward, that adds an important dangerous wrinkle to the most talented team in the NBA.

- Yeah, it was nice to see that last night. But also, that was just the first quarter. He does play better defense when his shot's going in.

First quarter, he hit three big shots for them. So that's something that we haven't seen. That's something that we must watch going forward.

But the question there is, can he do that for two months? Like, and that's going to be hard to do, given the way-- the lack of athleticism he's been able to show throughout the season. But if Klay is able to shoot the basketball like this-- and to me, which I thought they would do.

I thought they would change the offensive. I thought that they would play with more pace and get Kevin Durant involved in the offense more so than they did those last 10 to 15 games of the regular season. And he's the igniter for that offense, especially with Steph not being in the lineup.

So Golden State, I mean, they are an amazing shooting team. You start to see the way they pass the ball. You start to see, wow, why the people fall in love with the way they play basketball the last three years. In the last two games, we've seen versions of that.

- I'm going to ask a ridiculous question, just because I feel like I--

- Sure.

- --I must.

- I love it.

- If somehow the Warriors figure out what they couldn't figure out down the stretch and start playing maybe a different kind of ball that works without Steph in the lineup, is there any chance there's a little bit of a reintroduction phase when Steph comes back in?

- No, because he's been the focal-- that's been their status quo for the last three-plus years. So, no, I think they can fall right back into that. The only thing that you might see when Steph comes back in is a regression defensively.

They will not be as good. They will not be as long. They will not be as athletic defensively when Steph comes back. But there offense goes from a really good offense to a transcendent, how-do-you-stop-it offense. So it more than makes up for it.

- At Golden State, it becomes easier for the other four guys on the court when Steph steps on the court. And he is the predominant ball handler. So, man, he gets them shots. He gets them more space than they would have if he wasn't there.

- And one other note as far as the other four guys on the court-- nobody misses Steph more than Draymond. Draymond, we have learned, offensively, he's a great defensive player-- an all-time defensive player. But offensively, when Steph's not out there, he is a total negative who has not-- where, like, he-- he's so used to playing with the last few years that his game-- his offensive game has not adjusted to playing without Steph Curry.

We saw that again yesterday. It didn't matter. But he wants Steph back as much as anybody.