Programming note: "SportsNet Central -- Warriors Edition" debuts Monday at 6:00 PT on CSN Bay Area, taking you up to the opening tip of Game 1 at 6:30.
OAKLAND -- With nothing to play for and his starters in street clothes, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich couldn't help but appreciate what Warriors guard Stephen Curry did against his team in a Warriors win on April 15.
Curry hit seven 3-pointers and scored 35 points to move to within one of Ray Allen's single-season 3-point record -- a record he broke the next game.
"Steph took over with his shooting. He did a magnificent job," Popovich said. "It was actually fun to watch. Everybody hates losing, but I enjoyed the hell out of watching a talented kid perform the way he did."
It's a growing sentiment around the NBA: Stephen Curry is fun to watch and -- if he's not there -- is inching closer to superstar status.
Curry's coming out party is hard to circle. His 54-point game at Madison Square Garden? The 3-point record? Numerous moments as he averaged 24.3 points and 9.3 assists in the Warriors first-round series win against Denver?
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he saw it coming when Curry was still at Davidson.
"I actually called a game, Duke-Davidson at Duke, and I can remember Jeff Van Gundy questioning how good Steph was going to be, saying he wouldn’t be good," Jackson said. "Typical Jeff. Arguing with me as I stated that Steph would be a big-time player and a point guard in this league that will have tremendous success."
Jackson's thoughts on those who are just now acknowledging Curry's status in the league?
“Those guys are just coming to the hospital. The baby has been born already."
It's gotten to a point where when Curry misses shots, his teammates are surprised. When he heats up, its' the norm.
"It's like, 'what took you so long? We've been waiting,'" Jarrett Jack said. "It's just been special and fun to watch."
In San Antonio, the Warriors are up against a team which has a national reputation for being special, but not necessarily for playing an exciting brand of basketball.
"Everyone in this Sports Center generation wants to see the dunk, wants to see the crossover," Jackson said. "They don't do that, but they give you an awesome brand of basketball that is the type of basketball that you can sustain."
Jackson has long been a fan of both the Spurs and Popovich, who he referred to as "one of the greatest coaches in professional sports or at any level."
Game 3 set for Friday at Oracle
After games Monday and Wednesday in San Antonio the series will return to Oakland for Game 3 on Friday at 7:30 p.m. PT. A date and time for Game 4 has not been set.