San Antonio Spurs: 5 keys to series vs. Warriors

Posted April 15, 2018

"Aldridge has played more of the season at center than power forward, and the 6'11" big man will be a challenge for the Warriors regardless of who draws him as their primary defensive assignment. That was GSW' s third loss to Utah this season. "We've all been waiting for this moment for weeks, and the last month of the season hasn't been our best, but now our record is 0-0, and we get a chance to redeem ourselves". Golden State failed to win 60 games for the first time under Steve Kerr this season, and the addition of Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets thrust them into championship contention.

Nonetheless, the Warriors have observed Durant becoming more assertive a year after the team's prized free agent acquisition blended in with his All-Star teammates (Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson).

Even without Curry, they should handle a depleted Spurs team in the first round.

The Spurs and Warriors will play several competitive basketball games. When informed of Kerr's comments in the locker room however, Durant, who finished with team highs in points (27) and assists (seven), expressed disagreement. Six, I'm guessing? We haven't talked about that as a group. Per the team release, Curry will "intensify his on-court rehabilitation in the coming days, which will include more running and lateral movement". "We have film from last year to look at, so it won't be as surprising this year".

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The Warriors bench players must show up if they want to get past the disciplined Spurs. Last season during the Finals Durant was a defensive force, that won him Finals MVP as much as his offense. We saw it a year ago when these teams met in the playoffs and Leonard went down after Zaza Pachulia slid under him on a jumper, at that point the Warriors ran away with the series. I think that we let that take a toll on us a bit when we should've just pushed through it. "Every year is a new year and we're locked in". Just a weird finish to the season. I'm confident that we'll be ready to play, and I'm excited to play.

Kerr though didn't feel the need to worry as he sounded positive following the Warriors 40-point defeat to the Jazz, saying: "'My message is go home, take a day off, enjoy yourselves.' Said they haven't been playing with 'joy'".

Two years in a row, James' Cavaliers have fallen into a big hole in the NBA Finals against the Warriors. Of course, this comes on the heels of averaging 69 wins per season over the past three years. Kyle Anderson will be responsible for trying to keep Durant from dropping 30+ points in any given game. Kerr's Warriors haven't achieved that feat either, but they could this season.

From the top seeds in Houston and Toronto, to the old stalwarts in Golden State and Cleveland, to the brash up-and-comers in Philadelphia and Minnesota, there are potential storylines galore - and no real way to predict how it all may shake out. It was the first signal in some time that the Warriors are ready to enjoy themselves again. And there's no problem with that. "We know that they're not going to blitz [Aldridge] the whole game, but we've got to be smart that when they do, we get in position". Sometimes the hunger goes away for a little while; sometimes it's hard to find that again.