Spurs assured they can come behind vs. Warriors even if Kawhi doesn’t

11:48 AM ET

SAN FRANCISCO — A joyful Gregg Popovich incited critical in a Presidio room on a fifth building of a Four Seasons Hotel on Sunday when a theme incited to Kawhi Leonard.

With a undermanned San Antonio Spurs focusing their courtesy on Monday’s Game 2 matchup opposite a fortifying champion Golden State Warriors, Popovich was asked either there was value to a harmed Leonard during slightest spending time with a team, notwithstanding his inability to indeed minister on a court.

“He’s rehabbing right now in New York, perplexing to get healthy,” Popovich said.

From there on, silence, news discussion over.

Patty Mills called Leonard’s deficiency “a wily deal,” though forked out that a group wants “him to keep doing what he’s doing to stay healthy. we don’t know if he’ll be means to do that if he’s in this environment. In observant that, a support is always going to be there from him no matter where he is around a country. We support him removing healthy.”

A joining source pronounced a bar doesn’t design Leonard behind during any indicate during a playoffs, though a existence of Leonard’s deficiency purebred prolonged before San Antonio’s 113-92 detriment on Saturday to a Warriors in Game 1. That’s because a Spurs still entered a postseason assured in their chances of pulling off an dissapoint after a roller-coaster season, supposing they could consistently play a form of basketball they achieved while going 42-31 but Leonard in a lineup.

With Leonard as a team’s go-to choice final season, a Spurs used a brazen in an siege set 38 times during a final 5 seconds of a shot clock, that purebred as San Antonio’s most-used plays in those situations. Leonard averaged 1.09 points per approach play final season, according to investigate from ESPN Stats Information. But this season, Green receives that responsibility, with a numbers temperament out most differently.

Using Green in siege became San Antonio’s most-used play in a final 5 seconds of a shot time this deteriorate (13 times), with a Spurs averaging 0.46 points off a play.

Veteran Pau Gasol, meanwhile, forked out that a Warriors played with “a chip on their shoulder” in Game 1 after losing 10 of 17 headed into a playoffs, with skeptics observant Golden State isn’t as dangerous a group but Stephen Curry in a lineup.

With a Spurs awaiting to be but Leonard for a rest of a postseason, could San Antonio start personification with a identical edge?

“We haven’t had that form of talk; haven’t won dual championships in a final 3 years,” Gasol said. “We haven’t been to 3 true Finals. There’s not that form of chip on a shoulders.

“We do have a deficiency of arguably a best player. And that’s been there a whole year. That’s zero new. But we have a guys that we have, and we feel like we have a good possibility if we play a right way, we play together, we play harder and smarter than a opponent. We only didn’t utterly do that [in Game 1] enough.”

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