Leave it to Gregg Popovich to play mind games forward of a Western Conference finals.
So, what will he do to prepared his invulnerability to stop a high-flying Warriors? “Pray,” Popovich quipped Saturday before a Spurs over Texas for a Bay Area.
Stephen Curry could usually grin during that one. “Gamesmanship,” Golden State’s Curry said, “I adore it.”
Popovich doesn’t have his aged coaching pals Mike Brown or Steve Kerr fooled. Brown spent partial of final deteriorate operative unofficially alongside Popovich and is now coaching Golden State in place of a bum Kerr, who attended use Saturday for a initial time in some-more than 3 weeks as he recovers from his latest procession to correct a spinal liquid trickle that left him traffic with debilitating symptoms.
“That’s Pop,” Brown pronounced with a laugh. “He’s doing a lot some-more than praying right now. He knows what he wants to do opposite us.”
As widespread as a Warriors have been unconditional by a initial dual rounds of a playoffs, praying competence not harm either.
Kevin Durant doesn’t caring who is on a justice for San Antonio, he knows that Popovich will have his organisation prepared finish with a few surprises in a playbook.
Tony Parker is out a rest of a approach with a leg injury. Kawhi Leonard is not during 100 percent given of a proposal ankle. Tim Duncan is prolonged ago retired.
“They’re a machine,” Durant said. “They only keep going during you, no matter who’s on a court. They run their system. Similar to us, we feel like, where a male goes down, somebody stairs in.”
San Antonio entirely distant James Harden and Houston 114-75 in Game 6 on Thursday night behind LaMarcus Aldridge’s 34 points and 12 rebounds to tighten out a array as All-Star Leonard sat out nursing an harmed left ankle he harm in a Game 5 overtime win.
Golden State has hardly been tested so distant this postseason, going 8-0 opposite Portland and Utah.
Sure, it was scarcely 7 months ago when a Spurs came to city and entirely marred Durant’s much-hyped entrance – a 129-100 defeat in a deteriorate opener – with a Warriors after his scrutinized depart from Oklahoma City.
“That seems like years ago to be honest,” KD said. “Both teams have gotten so most better.”
The Spurs are behind in a Western Conference finals for a initial time given winning a 2014 title.
Here are a few of a plenty story lines to watch when these informed teams start their best-of-seven array Sunday afternoon during Oracle Arena:
Leonard had only a few days to get healthy. Popovich pronounced he went by a full use Saturday.
“He’s a soldier, man. He’s a fighter,” Durant said. “If he’s out there, he’s not going to make any excuses.”
Out of work final season, Brown spent most of his time attending Spurs meetings, practices and games in an spontaneous ability with good friend, Popovich . Kerr hired Brown as an partner final summer.
Brown, final a Spurs partner in 2003 who has pronounced he hopes to do something to repay Popovich someday for a opportunity, positively schooled some X’s and O’s though it went distant over that to watching how Popovich has blending to players now and continued to be a top-notch communicator.
“Mike who? we don’t know a Mike Brown,” Popovich joked. “Mikey’s finished a good job. Steve was unequivocally intelligent in employing him. He didn’t sinecure him for this reason, Steve didn’t wish this to happen, though they know any other well. Mike knows a module well. Steve is right there with him, in his ear. They’re doing things a approach they’ve finished it for a while now underneath Steve’s leadership.”
David Lee will face his aged Warriors team, while David West faces a Spurs, his former team. A barter of Davids, indeed. West has been assisting a Warriors get prepared for his aged team.
While he still keeps in hold with Curry and others, Lee is downplaying any intensity nostalgia from his time with Golden State.
“I try to keep things as elementary as possible,” he said. “It’s a building and an environment, a lot of people out there that I’m really informed with and keep in hold with many of a guys on their group still. With that being said, they’re competitors, I’m a competitor, guys on my group here, a Spurs, are competitors.”
The Warriors again are well-rested and healthy for a subsequent turn of their championship chase.
Durant, for one, feels good after traffic with a left knee damage that cost him 19 games late in a unchanging deteriorate afterwards a whinging left calf during a Portland series.
San Antonio will have to try to keep gait from a tip.
“We didn’t have most time to practice. It was a prolonged series, an burdensome array and now we play during noon, though we’re here,” Manu Ginobili said. “We’ve got to prepared as quick as we can.”
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