Scouts Takes: Golden State not that great

Eastern Conference scout on the Warriors' credentials as title contenders:

“Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not a believer. I’m not buying it in the playoffs. Their defense is better with [Andre] Iguodala, but I don’t see it as championship-level.

“When we play Golden State, we’re not worried about scoring. The focus of the game plan is taking away their 3-point shot. When the playoffs come, I think the Warriors will be just like Houston. Good show, fun to watch, great excitement ... but I don’t see them getting past the second round. I know the stats say otherwise, but they haven’t changed their spots completely.

“When you play Chicago or Miami, you know you’re going to run into a buzz-saw defense. San Antonio is one of the few teams -- maybe the only team -- that has an equal dose of both. They’re not great defensively or great offensively, but they’ve got the best combination of both. I would personally say Golden State isn’t there yet.

“Iguodala has made a difference, but he’s also thinking about his offense more than he used to playing with those guys. He wants to score, too. Bogut, to me, is more the defensive anchor than Iguodala. [Bogut] can block a shot, takes charges, he’s really cerebral, he uses his 2.9 seconds [before refs can whistle for illegal defense] to really get back and forth. He covers up for a lot of mistakes.

“But I think the Clippers have a better chance than the Warriors to go deep [in the playoffs] as long as Chris Paul comes back healthy. [The Clippers'] point guard is as tough as nails and their style of play is more conducive to playoff basketball.”

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