Can the Spurs thwart the Warriors’ NBA title hopes?
By Rob Wolkenbrod
Will the San Antonio Spurs be able to stop the Golden State Warriors from reaching a fourth consecutive NBA Finals series?
The San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors will kick off the 2018 NBA playoffs on Saturday afternoon. It’s an afternoon start time that puts all eyes on both teams, who went through unusual seasons due to unexpected circumstances.
For the Warriors, they lost Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for portions of this season. They will not have Curry for the first round, either.
Despite the newfound adversity, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr expects the team to claim the championship in June, according to Mark Medina of the Mercury News (h/t NBA.com).
“We are going into the playoffs with the idea that we’re going to accept every challenge and going for it. Our intention is to hang another banner,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “That’s our goal. That’s what we think is going to happen. I’m confident in that.”
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It leads to the question, do the Spurs stand a chance at ending Kerr’s aspirations and the Warriors’ streak? If the 2017 Western Conference Finals or the games played in the 2017-18 regular season mean anything, maybe not.
A different version of LaMarcus Aldridge captained them in the 2017 playoff series, once Kawhi Leonard went down, but it resulted in a series sweep. Even with Aldridge’s revitalized play this season, the Spurs still could not defeat the Warriors, until Curry, Durant, Green and Thompson all missed the game or got hurt during it.
This time around, without Curry and Patrick McCaw, can the Silver and Black at least make it an intriguing series? Durant still poses a matchup problem and while the team can match Green and Thompson defensively, their scoring output, and potentially closing in on Aldridge to take him out of the game, could do San Antonio in. That’s unless someone steps up as the No. 2 scorer and delivers an unforeseen game — like Rudy Gay scoring more than 22 points (his season-high).
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Do you think the Spurs can upset the Warriors and advance to the second round? Let’s find out on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. ET on ABC.