If the first game of this series between the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs is any indication, now might be a good time to free up your schedule for Wednesday night. Coming off San Antonio's thrilling 129-127 double-overtime victory in the opening game, it's difficult to imagine the remaining games being anything but a blast.
With two teams that embody the evolution of NBA offenses in recent years, emphasizing floor spacing, passing and long-range shooting, it's no surprise the Spurs and Warriors put on such a show in Game 1. Golden State got nothing for its impressive effort, though, leaving pressure on the W's to avoid bringing a 2-0 deficit back to the bay for Game 3.
After blowing a 16-point lead with just four minutes remaining in regulation -- the first time that's ever happened in the NBA playoffs -- the Warriors kept battling in overtime but couldn't put away the Spurs. A defensive miscue in the final seconds of the second overtime allowed Manu Ginobili to get a wide open look for the game-winning shot, which he calmly drained after missing 15 of his first 19 shots.
Now the Warriors need to come up with another great performance on the road after getting the job done for the first 44 minutes of Game 1. How can they do it? Here are three questions to ponder before Wednesday's Game 2.
1. Can Steph Curry keep rolling?
If the Warriors are ultimately going to win this series, it will be because of the efforts of guard Stephen Curry. Arguably the best shooter the NBA has seen in a very long time, the third-year pro was absolutely incredible in the opening game against San Antonio.
Knocking down 18 of his 35 shot attempts, Curry led all scorers with 44 points in addition to dishing out 11 assists. Playing in the postseason for the first time, his numbers through seven games have been fantastic -- 27.1 points, 9.6 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals in 42.4 minutes per game.
2. Will Spurs' experience win out?
In the final minutes of Game 1, it felt like a well worn narrative was playing out -- the older, more experienced Spurs taking advantage of a young Warriors team still cutting its teeth in the postseason. Golden State won't be able to repeat such mistakes if it wants to advance to the conference finals.
With many rotation players making their first-ever postseason appearances -- Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli -- as well as a relatively young coach in Mark Jackson, the Warriors stand in stark contrast to the Spurs. That youth will serve them at times, as it did during the first 44 minutes of Game 1, but finishing games against San Antonio won't be an easy task.
3. Can Andrew Bogut be a difference-maker?
The Warriors will likely need to shoot their way to victory, but the ability of big man Andrew Bogut to fill the paint will be integral. In Game 1, Bogut was an active defender and rebounder, grabbing 15 boards in 37 minutes, in addition to powering the team's 52-42 advantage on points in the paint.
Given how strong both teams are at spacing the floor and capitalizing on open looks, getting an advantage in the post could be key for the Warriors. And without many legitimate big men outside of Bogut, it will likely be up to the Australian to make a significant impact during the remainder of the series.
Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Odds: The Spurs are 7-point favorites, per OddsShark.