Kawhi Leonard Officially Out for Game 1

Kevin Durant is going to get paid by the Warriors

Just not this team from Texas. While the Warriors did win three of four games, they lost the most recent game against the Spurs on March 19th.

And Leonard has been ruled out of Saturday's opener against the Warriors. After all, Steph Curry was out, his team had struggled in his absence, and Kawhi Leonard was potentially set to return for San Antonio, and the Spurs have a reputation for stepping up in the postseason. We've won games without myself. Oh, and that lineup had logged zero minutes together during the regular season. Under no circumstance, however, should anyone ever doubt a Gregg Popovich-coached team.

The Golden State Warriors begin their title defense Saturday afternoon when they face the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Seriously, though: Anything less would've been a big surprise. Iguodala, making his first start of the season, turned the series around, averaging 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, capturing the Finals MVP. Their opponents in this contest, the Golden State Warriors, have been extremely solid this season despite dealing with a variety of key injuries throughout the season.

The NBA League Pass lets you watch every NBA game depending on the package you select. "I think we'll be fine".

Golden State ranks first in assists per game (29.3) while San Antonio ranks 15th (22.8).

Manuel Alleng top-scored for Warrens with 19 points inclusive of three treys, and there were also 15 points coming from Greig Springer.

"He's very tall", said Kerr.

With Aldridge on lockdown, the Warriors' D had accomplished its main mission, because the Spurs lack a secondary source of punch. Manu Ginobili? Tony Parker?

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San Antonio's offense all season used at its core LaMarcus Aldridge working out of the post, where he can score two on a fadeaway over anyone. Without it, well, unfortunately for the Spurs, Kawhi wasn't limping through that door Sunday.

As it stands Lakers and Warriors have so far played nine matches each with the former having seven wins while Warriors have six. Remember, the Warriors constantly ranked among the better defensive teams during their multiple runs to the NBA Finals. But coach Kerr isn't making excuses.

But deep down, did anyone buy the notion of the Warriors suddenly forgetting how to play defense? The Warriors are just vastly more athletic and it allows them to create matchups and opportunities that work for them. Wouldn't that be understandable, and wise on some levels, given the risk of something bad happening to a hamstring?

The team shot 54 percent from the field, but their defense was even better stifling the Spurs to 40 percent shooting. Iguodala returned to the game for the start of the third, but Kerr said: "Obviously, he'll get treatment and try to get better".

Moving Murray to the starting line-up was not only a begrudging but fair acknowledgement of Parker's diminishing role going forward and of Murray's now-superior talent, but also an affirmation of intent: defence, driving and rebounding is how they will carry it on going forward. I'm the kind of guy who is watching basketball at 7 PM and then watching tennis at 1 A.M. Durant, who made 9 of 17 shots, finished with eight rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Klay Thompson chipped in 27 on 11-of-13 shooting as well.

As things stand, the Warriors are still the favorites to win the Larry O'Brien in June.

"I'm all about the team", Cook said. They were much stronger defensively with 36 rebounds while the other 24 were on the offensive end.

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