As many speculated the Western Conference in the NBA would come down to two powerhouse teams. The Spurs hold Greg Popovich in their corner. Dubbed the Bill Belichick of the NFL the Hall of Fame coach will be down a Hall of Fame guard in Tony Parker. The Warriors only concern at this point is the health of Steve Kerr. After suffering post-back surgery issues, Kerr returned to the Warriors last practice for the first time since the first-round. Stepping in for Kerr is Mike Brown who has his own Finals experience with none other than the Cleveland Cavaliers and Lebron James.
Kawhi Leonard has been the concern with an ankle injury. The Spurs confirmed he will be ready to suit up and play in game one. The Spurs will need the MVP-like play from Leonard in this series but also his defensive attention on Kevin Durant.
The Warriors have yet to lose this postseason going 8-0 sweeping the Trailblazers in the first-round, and the Jazz in the second-round. The second-round series is where the Warriors started to hit their stride and have a full Staff on the floor. Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all played together for an entire series after Durant sat out two games in the first-round.
The Spurs will have a similar look to defend the high percent shooting from the three-point line. The only difference is that Patrick Beverly is now Curry. Eric Gordon becomes Klay Thompson in which the Spurs will have All-Star players to defend this series. Limiting the three-point shooting will be priority again so that San Antonio does not fall behind quickly at the rate the Warriors can shoot.
LaMarcus Alridge will be another focual point for the Spurs in regards to the size advantage. Limiting Golden Sate to one shot and winning the rebounding battle will be a key for the Spurs to have success in this series.
The guard play for San Antonio will rely heavily on Patty Mills, Jonathon Simmons and Dejounte Murray, and Danny Green. Manu Ginobili will be the veteran for Pop to go-to. Defensively, holding the shooting of Curry and Thompson will be key but the pick-and-pop will be the focual point for the Spurs defense.
The superstar showdown between Leonard and Durant is the highlight of this series. Durant is capabale of creating his own shot from any where on the floor. His 6’11 frame towers over Leonard and easily advantage KD. Keep and eye on the effectiveness on the defensive end and his offensive production for the Spurs.
Game one is Sunday on ABC. Tip-off is at 3:30 PM EST.