That same $100 bet on the Spurs would win $900. Let’s also not forget the Warriors chose to chase 73 wins that season instead of resting down the stretch…
The Spurs were surgical against the Rockets. The 4-2 series win sends them to conference finals against the Golden State Warriors. Popovich, however, was hesitant to say that he expects that momentum to continue against the Warriors.
Brown was on Popovich’s staff from 2000-03 and also worked informally with the Spurs last season.
The Spurs won the 2016-17 regular season series 2-1, but the only game where both teams had their full squads was opening night, a night the Warriors would like to forget.
Prediction: Warriors in 5. He’s been spotty for the Spurs throughout the playoffs, though he finished with 34 points and 16 rebounds against the Rockets in Game 6. This is the No. 1 issue … at least heading into Game 1.
The team’s decision to give Leonard enough time to recover proved to be correct, considering that the player got the needed time to totally heal without hurting their gameplay.
It might be this simple: Leonard can guard anyone, but he can’t guard everyone and the Warriors, if they’re running on all cylinders, simply have too many ways to beat you. San Antonio is bigger with Aldridge and Pau Gasol, and they are going to have to carry more than their fair share of the load while also guarding the multi-faceted Golden State front-court. If not, then a handful of role players will be asked to share the load and that might be uncomfortable for them. Leonard will be back for the Warriors series, Parker will not. The gut-feeling answer is a resounding “no”.
But if you’ve watched San Antonio at all this season, you’re aware that Parker not only isn’t who he used to be, but he might be one of the worst starting point guards in the league. That sort of really began the era of the Warriors we know today.
Can Klay Thompson recapture his touch? I can get him off the ball some.
Leonard’s most important contribution to San Antonio in the series against the Warriors will undoubtedly be his defensive abilities. In this series, Thompson will see Danny Green, who is a very good defender and, like Thompson, a designated shooter.
Finally, the gold standard of the National Basketball Association will clash with the league’s burgeoning dynasty in the playoffs to determine who rules the West.
Stephen Curry started the rally in the third to get Golden State going and Kevin Durant was determined to do his part in the fourth.
During the season, Harden became the first player in National Basketball Association history to both score and assist on 2,000 of his team’s points. But Durant missed two of those games and Green wasn’t much of a threat from the perimeter. While that trade-off is one that any team would take 100 times out of 100, it does grant the Spurs an inherent advantage inside.
Golden State’s path to the this series has been anything but challenging.
No two teams have ever met for the title in three consecutive seasons, as the Cavs and Warriors could, and only a handful of players have made the NBA Finals seven years in a row, as James could do. Leonard has arguably been the best player in these playoffs so far.