There were many questions surrounding the chances of the Golden State Warriors to defend their NBA crown this season. With their stars being plagued by various injuries throughout the season, the Warriors slipped and the Houston Rockets finished atop of the Western Conference standings at the end of the regular season. One thing’s for sure though, the Warriors are still the betting favorites to win the title again this year.
Golden State has a tough, or at least what was thought of to be a tough matchup in the first round of the playoffs in the San Antonio Spurs. It’s a classic battle of offense vs. defense. The Dubs have explosive firepower in their scorers, but the Spurs have on their side a legacy of consistency. San Antonio currently holds the longest active streak of playoff appearances with 21.
Neither team is at full strength. The Spurs are without Kawhi Leonard, who appeared in only nine games in the regular season with a nagging quad injury. There is no clear timetable for his return to the floor. On the other side of the court, the Warriors are without All-Star guard Stephen Curry who is nursing a knee injury. Andre Iguodala has been running the point for the Warriors in his stead for now.
Despite being accused of some lackadaisical play down the stretch of the regular season, the Warriors have appeared to found their “on switch” and have kicked up their game into gear. They now lead the series 2-0 after beating the Spurs 116-101. Kevin Durant dropped a game-high 32 points with six rebounds and six assists to power the Warriors’ win. Klay Thompson also piled on with the scoring frenzy with 31 points and five 3-pointers of his own.
If the Warriors advance, and at this point that looks like their on their way to do so, they will face off against the winner of the Blazers-Pelicans series. The Pelicans currently lead that series 1-0.
The Warriors have an abundance of talent, with Durant covering for the Curry’s absence. This season might not be as easy a road as 2016-17, but they are ready go deep, go far, and possibly all the way to another NBA Championship.