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Popovic's Spurs Caught Out Against New-Look Warriors

15 April 2018

The Warriors faced the Spurs in last year's Western Conference Finals, and the Spurs would probably have been Golden State's biggest challenge had Kawhi Leonard not gotten injured.

Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry is making progress in his recovery from a knee injury and will increase his rehab efforts, the club announced Saturday. Draymond Green chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists while Shaun Livingston added 11 points off the bench. "We know what it takes this time of year to win", Green said. "Regardless of what everyone is saying - 'The Warriors have lost it, ' 'They're not together, ' 'They can't win without Steph, ' 'They're not the same team, ' blahzay blahzay blahzay blah blah blah - we know what we're capable of".

The second game of the seven-game series will be played Monday at the Oracle Arena and Popovic will be hoping for a better response to his team, as it will be an uphill task for the underdogs to come back if they go two games down.

Rudy Gay paced San Antonio with 15 while LaMarcus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes each had 14.

The end result was a 113-92 Warriors win that was never really in doubt by the middle of the first quarter. Even without Curry, Golden State will still look to put up a lot of shots from beyond the arc and bury the Spurs in triples. Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said they have to be "desperate" in order to tie the series at one game apiece returning to San Antonio. He shared game-high assist honors with Durant with eight.

Game 1 performances aren't supposed to matter much - NBA history has told us to read into them at your own peril - but against the behest of the basketball gods, I'd advocate that you remember Saturday's.

"Just forcing them to shoot tough shots", McGee said.

The Warriors spread the floor, ratcheted up their defensive intensity, dived for loose balls and took a 23-point lead into the fourth quarter.

In the aftermath of a 21 game blowout loss in game oneof the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the latest questions with the Spurs aren't related to what happened on the court. Any Spurs victory will likely be hand-delivered by a Warriors team that takes its foot off the pedal.

Despite a bit of skepticism from Warriors fans about the starters, coach Steve Kerr's decision to go with McGee worked out well with the 7-foot, 270-pound center putting up 11 points, three boards, two blocks and a steal in 11 minutes in the first half against San Antonio. "The last month or so our defense had been subpar".

These guys had been holding out on us - save for a few games in December and one in February - since October!

San Antonio entered the postseason considering itself underdogs against the defending champion Warriors.

I'm just teasing, jeez.

Still, there have been signs that the members of the team seem not on the same page mentally, and it's worth wondering if simply getting everyone healthy will be enough for them to get back on track as they continue their title defense in the playoffs looking bleak.

Popovic's Spurs Caught Out Against New-Look Warriors