In the 1986 movie Hoosiers, Coach Norman Dale, (played by Gene Hackman) says, “Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit: team, team, team – no one more important than the other.” There has never been a more fitting movie quote to describe the San Antonio Spurs. What Gregg Popovich’s team did in the second round of the playoffs was stuff movies are made of. The Spurs defeated the Houston Rockets in six games. In a critical game 5, they went to overtime and won without their all world player, Kawhi Leonard. No one gave the Spurs a chance to win Game 6 without Tony Parker and Leonard but they did. They embarrassed Houston from start to finish, wining the clinching game, 114-75 on the road. The Spurs defied the odds and advanced to the Western Conference Finals. Can they do it again? Well, it will not be easy. Waiting in the wings is the Golden State Warriors, who have been business-like as usual. GS is 8-0 in the post-season and are looking to make it back to the NBA finals for a 3rd straight year.
We are witnessing a changing of the guard with the Spurs. Next season, Hall of Fame players like Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker will not be on the roster. Players like Dejounte Murray and Jonathon Simmons will help Leonard lead this team over the next 7 years. Murray and Simmons are both athletic, long and can both be elite defenders down the road. Simmons did a tremendous job in guarding James Harden in game 5 and 6, he also provided 18 points, 4 assists and 1 steal in the deciding game 6. If the Warriors were a sports movie villain, they would be Ivan Drago, They donât just beat you, they destroy your spirt or as Drago said” I must break you.” GS does not just want to beat you they want to crush you. The Warriors can win a game in a multitude of ways. They are led by the 4 horsemen:
Stephen Curry- 27points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists per game.
Kevin Durant- 23 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
Klay Thompson- 16 points per game.
Draymond Green- 14.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game.
I don t particularly like the Warriors depth on their bench, but when it comes to their starting 5, there is no better roster in the NBA and they might have the best starting 4 in the history of basketball.
For the 1st time since 2002-03, two teams with 60 or more wins will meet in the Western Conference Finals. But the Spurs are disseminated by injuries. This is not a fair fight, all indications are Leonard is about 75% at best. Ginobili is turning back the clock and playing like he is 29 not 39. But,the only way for the Spurs to win is have LeMarcus Aldridge and Leonard combine for 5o points per game. I am not going to lie, there are two teams that I am emotionally invested in, The Spurs and the Cavs. But, with that said, I do not let my passion or loyalty sway my decisions. You want proof, I was passionate about the last two women I dated and broke up with both (hahah). The Spurs will lose this series but to paraphrase Coach Norman Dale, one more time from the movie Hoosiers, “If the Spurs put their effort and concentration into playing to their potential, to be the best they can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book they are gonna be winners.” Pop will win a game just on coaching and adjustments alone.
Take GS in 6 Games. The “Dubs” go to an impressive 3rd straight finals.
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