Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Spurs Open Western Finals Visiting Oakland

The Australian faces the ultimate point guard test when he goes head-to-head with the Warriors' Curry.

San Antonio will have to try to keep pace from the tip.

Game 6 highlighted something that has been clear for a while now: The Spurs are the great chameleon of pro sports and have shown themselves to be capable of navigating just about any scenario thrown their way. The following year, San Antonio was ousted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Conference Semifinals.

Some fans thought the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors would be the inevitable Western Conference championship matchup anyway.

Though the Spurs won two of three regular-season meetings with Golden State, they know that this series will be much more hard than their previous meetings this season.

Despite the series lasting six games, five of them were enormously one-sided. They have reached the NBA Finals in their past two seasons, winning a title once.

"He's really turned it on", coach Gregg Popovich said.

Popovich was asked following the Spurs' final practice what his defensive approach would be against the Warriors high-powered offense. On the other hand, the Spurs will be heading to the next round, and the competition is about to take a challenging turn.

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Before this series begins on Sunday afternoon from Oracle Arena, here are five big questions that needs to be evaluated.

During the regular season, the Spurs had the best defense in the National Basketball Association and the Warriors had the top offense. That's the largest underdog role for the Spurs in 268 playoff games under Popovich, according to ESPN. I take responsibility for it, both ends of the floor.

With Tony Parker sidelined for the rest of the postseason, San Antonio will also count on Patty Mills, Danny Green, Jonathan Simmons and rookie Dejounte Murray to be perimeter defenders against Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Leonard sprained his ankle in Game 5 of the Spurs' series against the Rockets. Their previous low was 92 in their Game 3 loss to the Spurs, when Harden scored 43.

Manu Ginobili's turn-back-the-clock performance in Tuesday's Spurs-Rockets playoff game didn't just excite his teammates or the frenzied crowd at San Antonio's AT&T Center.

The regular season MVP candidate also dished out seven assists, but was heavily criticized after the game after several pundits called out the star guard for quitting on his team.

Again, something has to give here, right?

During the regular season, the Warriors led the league scoring 113.2 points per 100 possessions while the Spurs led the league holding opponents to just 100.9 points per 100 possessions. And sometimes Game 1 is a tricky spot for a team that's been off for a while.

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