The Leonard-less Spurs handed the Rockets a humiliating end to their surprise season on Thursday night at the Toyota Center, closing out the series with a 114-75 win that pits them against the vaunted Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals that will start on Sunday (Monday NZT).
San Antonio won the second-round series in six games and punched their ticket to the Western Conference playoff finals against the Golden State Warriors, which kicks off on Sunday.
With a wingspan well over seven-foot and an untouchable fade away jump shot, Durant came to Golden State and is changing one massive positive that the Golden State Warriors will use to win another championship: creating open space for himself and his teammates. They were not the first place team of the Western Conference, but they still had a good view. Without his physical presence, Aldridge went to work, scoring 10 points in the first quarter as the Spurs jumped to a 31-24 lead.
The Warriors failed to cover as 15½-point home favorites over the Trail Blazers in Game 1 of their first-round series and also didn't cover as 13-point home chalk over the Jazz in Game 1 of their semifinal series. The Spurs have elite perimeter defenders in Kawhi Leonard, Jonathon Simmons and Danny Green, but will they be able to slow down the Warriors' arsenal of superstars? They have lost Tony Parker for the rest of the playoffs and Kawhi Leonard is battling an ankle injury. They got it in style, dominating on both ends of the floor as their defense stifled and their attack slayed in this Texan showdown.
The 25-year-old forward notably missed the Spurs' Game 6 rout on the road in Houston due to a lingering ankle injury.
According to a point spread vs moneyline conversion chart I found from The Wizard of Odds (great name), these odds are like an National Football League team being 17-point underdogs (so, say the Browns playing the Patriots in New England).
Pablo Hernandez to stay for another year
Pontus Jansson joined Leeds last summer on a season-long loan from Serie A outfit Torino and his deal has since been made permanent .
For the Spurs to have a realistic chance at upsetting the Warriors, they will need someone to step up alongside Leonard. According to SportVU, the Spurs moved at an average of 3.94 miles per hour on defense in Game 6, 10 percent faster than they did in Game 5.
"Mikey has done a great job", Popovich said when he made a decision to get serious.
"He looked better today", Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said.
The Spurs just ended their second round series in a similar way.
"It would be a lot more competitive series than what we should see out West", Sherman said. "We've got to prepare as fast as we can".
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