The NBA playoffs continue on Sunday evening (European time), as the Golden State Warriors will host the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Golden State (first seed) hasn`t played in a while now, after sweeping Utah 4-0 in the conference semifinals. The Warriors are yet to lose a game in these playoffs after also sweeping Portland in the first round and there`s really not much to say about them, they are playing lights out basketball on both ends of the floor and seem unbeatable.
San Antonio (second seed) had to overcome a lot of adversity in these playoffs against both Memphis and Houston, but they ended up winning both series 4-2. However, the Spurs had to pay a price after beating Houston in the Conference semifinals, as they lost Tony Parker due to injury and now their best player, Kawhi Leonard, is also hurt (though he will play in this game).Bet on GS Warriors v SA Spurs and get your 100% (100 Eur) bonus at Ohmbet now!
Team news: Golden State has no injuries worth noting. San Antonio will miss Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard is not 100% healthy, but reports say he will play.
After losing Tony Parker and with Kawhi Leonard hobbled, San Antonio relied on their defense to win the last two games of the series against Houston (110-107 in Overtime and 114-75). They locked down defensively, stopping a brilliant offensive team like Houston, but also struggled scoring themselves. The only reason for which they scored 114 points in the decisive Game 6 was because LaMarcus Aldridge had a (very) rare brilliant night on the offensive end.
Look for San Antonio to rely on their defense again in the series against Golden State. Without Parker, they are left with two defense-first point guards in Mills and Murray and that impacts their game a lot, while Leonard being hurt will limit his offensive production, and he is by far their best weapon on that end.
Expect San Antonio to try and slow the game down and try to get production in the paint from their bigger, but older and slower front court players. They know it`s their only shot to beat the Warriors and the situation with Parker and Leonard doesn`t even give them another option.
As for the Warriors, their defense has been exceptional lately, holding opponents at an average of 98.7 points per game in the playoffs. They also held the Spurs to 98 points in the last regular season meeting between the two, six weeks ago, when Golden State won 110-98 without Kevin Durant.
The Warriors will likely get 100+ points here, but they probably won`t get their usual 120 because of San Antonio’s approach, and because the Warriors might also be a little rusty after siting out for almost 1 week. At the same time, San Antonio may have serious problems scoring the basketball.
One last thing worth noting is that with Kawhi Leonard hurt, coach Popovich might choose to rest his starters earlier than usual if things don`t go San Antonio’s way. That will determine the Warriors to do the same, and it`s well known that Golden State’s fringe players are completely unable to score. If it comes to a game between deep bench players in the last six minutes or so, there will probably be very few points in that time span.
The 211 points total line seems a bit on the high side considering the circumstances, so my tip will be the under. Prediction: Golden State Warriors – San Antonio Spurs 107 – 95.