Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 3/19/16

The NBA’s top two teams are meeting tonight for the second time this season as the 58-10 Spurs host the 62-6 Warriors in San Antonio. The Spurs have done their best to present themselves as the most formidable challenger to the Warriors’ throne, lagging just behind Golden State’s record-setting pace all season. However, when the teams met on January 25th, it was a complete mismatch. Stephen Curry put up a 37-point performance as Golden State grabbed a 120-90 victory.

San Antonio made the biggest free agent splash of last summer, adding LaMarcus Aldridge to a franchise that has remained among the NBA’s best throughout Tim Duncan‘s 19-year career. Add in All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard and a veteran crew loaded with playoff experience, and the Spurs have grabbed their annual spot among the league’s elite teams.

The Warriors made few changes from their title-winning 2014/15 team, keeping their core together when they re-signed Draymond Green to a five-year, $82MM deal and inked Leandro Barbosa to a one-year contract at $2.5MM.

Golden State blitzed through the league for a scintillating 24-0 start, and only the Spurs have gotten close to challenging for the NBA’s best record at any time this season. Both teams have been nearly unbeatable anywhere this season, but especially at home, where the Spurs are 34-0 and Golden State is 32-0.

Each of Golden State’s six losses this season have come in road games against the Bucks, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pistons, Blazers and Lakers. Portland enters tonight in sixth place in the Western Conference playoff race at 36-34, with Dallas in eighth at 34-35, so either would at least know how it feels to beat the Warriors if they wind up as Golden State’s first-round opponent.

That brings us to tonight’s topic: Which team has the best chance of taking down the Warriors in a seven-game series? Is it the Spurs with their experienced roster and one of the league’s best coaches in Gregg Popovich? Or are the Thunder more of a threat with two unstoppable scorers in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook? The Clippers have an intense rivalry with Golden State and appeared headed to a Western Conference Finals showdown last season before letting their series with Houston slip away. Do any of the other Western Conference contenders have matchup advantages against the Warriors that could lead to a major upset?

How about in the East? The Cavaliers put up a good fight in the NBA Finals, despite missing Kevin Love and not having Kyrie Irving after Game 1. Does Toronto have the right mix to challenge Golden State, or maybe Miami, Boston, Atlanta or someone else?

Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the topic. We look forward to what you have to say.

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