Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

JaVale McGee starting Game 1 vs. Spurs

JaVale McGee starting Game 1 vs. Spurs

It's what you do in the playoffs.

The Golden State Warriors will host the San Antonio Spurs in Game One of the Western Conference Round 1 National Basketball Association playoffs on Saturday, start time at 3:00 PM ET. USA sportsbooks are favoring Golden State heavily in Game 1. That sequence included a 119-79 pounding by the Utah Jazz on Tuesday to end the regular season on a downbeat note.

Golden State has an excellent 58-24 SU record, but they have trouble covering the spread (33-46-3 ATS).

This may be the ideal matchup for him as the Spurs don't have an athletic freak or bulldozer in their big man rotation and that is the main things that continue to give Looney problems. Regardless, the Spurs will be first-round fodder for the Warriors and then must go back to the drawing board as they contemplate the future of the franchise.

DeMar DeRozan made some changes to his game this season, most notably attempting more shots from behind the 3-point line.

"They're as disciplined as anyone that we're going to face in terms of establishing a style, pace, a defensive awareness and mindset", Kerr said about the Spurs at Friday's practice. In the nine games Leonard was active this season, he was his usual self even in limited minutes per game. The Spurs have ruled him out of Saturday's game. Coach Gregg Popovich has done his usual job of maximizing a roster full of savvy veterans (Pau Gasol, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili) and competent role players (Patty Mills, Danny Green, Kyle Anderson, Rudy Gay), and he'll look to somehow get that rag-tag bunch to give the defending champs all they can handle. The Spurs are tied for 25 in the league by knocking down 35.2 percent of their long range attempts. Under that scenario, Golden State would probably go with Kevon Looney or Jordan Bell at center. However, the circumstances of their playoff series could not be more different. Golden State ranks 23rd in points allowed in the paint per game (47.4). The Warriors are leading the league by dishing out 29.3 assists a night. Both shoot well. And both play good defense.

The Oklahoma City guard came into Wednesday needing 16 rebounds against Memphis to average 10.0 boards this season - and got there in the third quarter of the Thunder's game against the Grizzlies. According to ESPN, a Grade 2 MCL sprain typically sidelines players for about six weeks. LaMarcus Aldridge has been the unsung hero, carrying the squad with 23.1 points and 8.5 rebounds and his resurgence to All-Star form has been a godsend for the Spurs.

Durant accepted about $10 million less than what he would've got on a max deal when he signed a two-year, $51.3 million contract with the opt-out clause, which let the Warriors keep Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, per Haynes.

San Antonio managed to drag themselves to the postseason for the 21 straight year but one has to wonder how much they have in the tank. San Antonio is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games versus Golden State. Another NBA Finals victory would be the second of Durant's career and second since he's played for Golden State. Harden was a mess in the series clincher in which he was held to 10 points and looked positively bewildered in the 114-75 demolition.

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