Pregaming: Spurs vs. Warriors Game 1
AT&T CENTER — Here we go. Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals. We’re very close to the time of year where the iconic moments happen and memories are made. From here on out, everybody is paying attention. No matter how long or short this series is, I expect it to be an aesthetically-pleasing one that everyone from the casual fan to the Xs and Os diehard will enjoy.
- Boris Diaw will start for the Spurs in Game 1. Diaw missed the last three weeks and change after having surgery to remove a synovial cyst from his lumbar spine. Basically, back surgery. Diaw’s inclusion in the lineup is a boost for the Spurs, who are battling injuries to the frontcourt. Which leads us to…
- Tiago Splitter will not play in Game 1. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said that Splitter will be inactive for tonight’s game, and could be ready for Game 2 on Wednesday night. Tiago will be available for this weekend’s games in Oakland, for sure.
- Manu Ginobili, who faced a minutes limitation in the Spurs’ first round series against the Lakers, is about as back to full strength as you can expect him to be. According to Pop, the minutes limitation is gone and Ginobili should be able to play as much as the Spurs need.
- At the time of his interview, Warriors head coach Mark Jackson hadn’t named his starters. He wanted to wait until hearing who would be starting for the Spurs, but we hadn’t interviewed Pop yet, so we had no information to feed him. Getting news that Diaw would start for the Spurs, I’m guessing Jackson won’t go small and start Harrison Barnes at the 4. More likely it’s Carl Landry starting at the 4.
- After his dramatic comeback in Game 6 of the Warriors-Nuggets series, don’t expect much from David Lee in Game 1 of Spurs-Warriors. While Jackson said that Lee has improved physically since Game 6, he’s unlikely to make much of an impact tonight. “He’s in no position to start tonight and give me big minutes,” Jackson said. “If he plays at all it will be a similar situation [to Game 6.]”
- As far as Andrew Bogut, Jackson gave conflicting reports. “He’s feeling fine,” Jackson said about Bogut, a minute later adding, “He’s not 100 percent.” Okay, I’m giving a hard time just a bit. I don’t think anyone in still playing is 100 percent at this point in the season, and Bogut is probably in a similar predicament to Manu Ginobili. Basically, this is about as healthy as he’s going to get without an extended period (i.e. summer) of rest.