How did they get there?
The Warriors have breezed through the opening two rounds sweeping Portland and Utah en route to what seemed to be an inevitable appearance in the Western Conference finals.
The Spurs had a harder road than the Warriors. The Grizzlies put up a fight in the first round and caused San Antonio some problems. The Spurs pulled a master class performance to close out the Rockets in the second round.
This will be the Warriors third straight appearance in the Conference finals. For the Spurs, this will be their first appearance since 2013.
Interim Warriors coach Mike Brown was actually a protégé of Spurs coach Popovich hired back in 2000.
Injury & Suspensions
Kawai Leonard is expected to be back for Game 1. Tony Parker will be out for the rest of the season.
The Warriors aren’t the deepest squad in the competition, but they have shaken off niggles to Kevin Durant and look to come into this series fully healthy.
Stats. Trends and Common Sense
We’re bucking all the stats in this one. Since 2002, the top two seeds have played off for the conference title 15 times. Surprisingly, the second seed has won 10 of these series.
The Spurs held the number 1 defence in the regular season (100.9 pp/100). The Warriors on the other hand held the top offence (113.2 pp/100). One glaring realization is that these days, offence rules the NBA.
As I write this, I think we all know this Warriors team is unlike any other we’ve seen before. They buck trends, they play small and they play an unselfish brand of basketball.
From the moment Lebron and his Cavs hoisted the trophy last year we all knew the Warriors and Cavs would face off again next season. Well, it’s next season and the Warriors for me, are five games away from returning to the Final.
I’ll give the Spurs 1 game out of respect for Coach Popovich. Unfortunately for San Antonio, with Leonard banged up and the Warriors playing much faster than the old time Spurs, it’s hard to see any level of competitiveness in this matchup.
Series Bet: 4-1
By Nik Hatzi