Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Warriors, Spurs series has familiar story lines


When you win the championship in 2015 and lose the following year - in the seventh game, in the closing minutes, in your home building - the summer becomes an endless, blistering offseason even in the Bay Area. It shouldn't be surprising to those who've watched this team during his long tenure as coach.

The Golden State Warriors host the San Antonio Spur on Sunday for Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. In two days the Spurs will be hosted by the Warriors in the first game of the series.

The Spurs just played two competitive series against the Grizzlies and Rockets.

The fans justifiably took their anger out on MVP candidate James Harden, who didn't score his first basket until midway through the second quarter.

That will be a task for Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey, who did a brilliant job last summer in hiring D'Antoni and then building a team that fit his vision - including a pair of questionable signings in Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson that proved to be flawless fits.

He said he's found maturity to step back and not force plays that he might not have had earlier in his career.

A more detailed medical update was unavailable.

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We want Leonard to be at full throttle after sitting a few games with an uncooperative ankle, because the only way to be the Most Valuable Player at season's end is to be the Most Victorious Player at this time of year.

Anything more than that, however, appears to be unlikely. But who knows? Who could have envisioned Kerr removing himself from the sidelines after the Warriors defeated the Portland Trail Blazers in the first two games of the series? It's a mountain he probably won't climb, but if San Antonio is to spring an upset, they'll need Aldridge to come up huge. Would he wait for the Finals or remain in the background, involved in the preparation but cautious about where to tread?

"Pray", said the acid-tongued San Antonio coach. Outwardly, he is cool and calm, and increasingly comfortable in the environment. San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich has stated that Leonard is the NBA's best player because of his prowess on the defensive end, and he's been recognized as the league's No.1 defender in consecutive years. "I don't know that we contested any of them". "Steve was really smart in hiring him". They're doing things the way they've done it for a while now, and Mike is a good soldier, and he will be. "Mikey's done a great job". The Warriors have cruised to an 8-0 postseason record (6-0 under Brown) in familiar fashion, with only an occasional hiccup. He's a fighter, " Thunder star Kevin Durant said.

This year, the Spurs and the Warriors once again posted the two best regular season records in the National Basketball Association, with the Spurs going 61-21, compared to the Warriors' mark of 67-15. A rematch with the Cavs would be wrapping on a gift, an opportunity to expunge the Oracle Arena odor from that seventh game. But 36-year old Pau Gasol chipped in with a double-double as well.

San Antonio thoroughly dismantled James Harden and Houston 114-75 in Game 6 on Thursday night behind LaMarcus Aldridge's 34 points and 12 rebounds to close out the series as All-Star Leonard sat out nursing an injured left ankle he hurt in a Game 5 overtime win. They will win the series with defense and by throwing off the rhythm of that incredible Warriors offense. "But at the same time, that's not going to stop me from being aggressive and trying to make plays, not just for myself but for my teammates as well".

"That's Pop", Brown said.

The only time we saw the Spurs get creative with their adjustments was between Games 1 and 2. You know, it's tough, especially the way we lost at home for Game 6, but we move forward.

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