Warriors down Mills’ Spurs in NBA Playoffs

Apr 24, 2018
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And the San Antonio Spurs are right back where they ended their playoff run previous year, against the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors won’t be at full strength though, as their star player in Steph Curry will still be out of action as he is still recovering from his grade two MCL sprain which he suffered back in March.

The San Antonio Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard for all but nine games this season.

The Golden State Warriors were the better team overall in the season series, but that season series might not say all that much about the upcoming series. Andre Iguodala, David West, Nick Young, and Shaun Livingston haven’t been playing well for the past two months (none of the team really was at the end of the regular season, to be fair). The Warriors started their season on a high, but as the season progressed, the Warriors stumbled down the stretch being hampered by injuries to all their key players.

Well, tough for one team in Texas.

“The first quarter we looked like deer in the headlights”, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Aldridge post-ups were a huge part of San Antonio’s offense in the regular season, but forcing the ball to him down low played right into McGee’s hands. The Warriors faced the Spurs in last year’s Western Conference Finals, and the Spurs would probably have been Golden State’s biggest challenge had Kawhi Leonard not gotten injured.

The Spurs still feature two of the greatest winners the league has ever seen in Ginobili and Tony Parker, who have teamed for 131 playoff wins, equaling the most of any tandem in National Basketball Association history. In February of this season, when the Warriors focused for a while, they allowed just 102.3.

I’m not sold on Golden State until Curry returns from injury and who knows when he’ll be ready.

The Spurs rank ninth in second chance points per game (13.3) while the Warriors rank last (10.3). The Houston Rockets are a stiff challenger but Durant, Thompson, Draymond Green, this bench and Curry, at any percentage, aren’t going to be an easy out either.

JaVale McGee got the start at center for the Golden State Warriors as they opened up their playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, and he made the best of the opportunity. However, he said Curry is “nowhere close to being ready to play in a game, but it’s good to see him out here getting better”. We know how good we are. We know what we’re about.

Leonard wouldn’t have fixed everything, but his presence would have at least taken some pressure off Aldridge’s shoulders and forced the Warriors’ defense to bend in his direction.

Kawhi Leonard

 

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