LaMarcus Aldridge is one candidate, especially after a 34-point performance in the series clincher against Houston. It will be up to the rest of the Spurs to somehow win this game.
Instead, San Antonio will tip off the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors, who swept their second-round series against the Utah Jazz, on Sunday in Oakland. Now, as James, Durant and their teammates wait on the next opponent for the respective conference finals, the world is watching as they move their unblemished, 8-0 teams ever closer to an anticipated Cavs-Warriors rematch that might finally come to fruition at last in a matter of weeks.
REUTERS/Soobum Im-USA TODAY SportsSan Antonio Spurs defensive expert Kawhi Leonard dunks the ball in a game against the Detroit Pistons at AT&T Center. Pachulia later slid toward him as he came down from shooting and Leonard fell into the Spurs bench, grabbing his ankle. We just didn't expect the Spurs to be the team delivering the thrashing.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, their MVP could not win the game that mattered most. "With that being said, they're competitors, I'm a competitor, guys on my team here, the Spurs, are competitors".
Covering the spread is another matter. Even with San Antonio's pedigree, the Warriors - who have been a dominant team all season - have to be considered heavy favorites heading into this series. The Spurs are now consensus 10.5-point underdogs in Game 1 in Las Vegas sportsbooks.
The Spurs are back in the Western Conference finals for the first time since winning the 2014 title.
"If there's a game in Golden State that (the Warriors) might have some difficulty in, I think it's this one", Sherman said.
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The Spurs had a 39-point conquest of the Rockets in Game 6 and will next face the heavily-favored Warriors. In 2015-16, the Spurs lost a seven-game series against the Clippers in the first round. "But it wouldn't surprise me either way". Simmons, who has been a significant contributor during this playoff run and averaged 13.2 points and scored in double digits in five of the six games in the Houston series, is another potential contributor.
The San Antonio Spurs were saving Kawhi Leonard for Sunday.
Boasting an 8-0 record in the postseason, and the most talented roster in the league, Brown was understandably feeling pretty loose Friday when facing the media. Entering the first round of the playoffs, the odd may have been against the Grizzlies.
What the world didn't know going into game six, was that James Harden also wouldn't show up to play, at least not mentally.
Celtics, Wizards set for Game 7 • Isaiah Thomas used to imagine what it would be like to play in a Game 7.
"He just has a presence about him, he has a confidence", Popovich said.
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