It was the third quarter of game one in the Western Conference finals and the Spurs had a 25 point lead. The Spurs continued their success from game 6 against Houston in the semi-finals playing perfect basketball in game 1 of the WCF. The fresh Kawhi Leonard had 26 points and 8 rebounds (11-11 from the line) when he pulled up for a three and landed on the foot of Zaza Pachulia. Leonard twisted the ankle he hurt in the Houston series and pulled his quad when he landed on the foot of Pachulia. The Warriors then went on an insane run and overcame the 25 point deficit to win by 2.
Pachulia’s defense of running under the jump shot of Kawhi was dirty, but the severity of Leonard’s injury was a freak accident and unfortunately ruined the compelling match up between the two best teams in the west. Pachulia and his family received death threats and harsh comments from coach Pop who compared the play to manslaughter.
The injury was the worst thing that could have happened to the Spurs. Their chances of winning a couple of games and making the series interesting were slim with Leonard and were non-existent without him.
Manu Ginobili played well in his advanced age and possibly played his final game. He was the one positive takeaway for the Spurs in this series as LaMarcus Aldridge clanked mid-range fade away after mid-range fade away and Pau Gasol fucked up every defensive switch giving Curry, Thompson, and Durant wide open threes in every game.
On the Warriors side, Pachulia missed the last couple games with an injury but JaVale McGee played great in his absence. Steve Kerr still hasn’t returned to the coaching bench but he did address the team in the locker room before their home games and attending the team practices.
Other than the Leonard injury there isn’t a lot to discuss about this series. The final 3 games were never in doubt as the Warriors won by an average point differential of 21 in those 3 games.
The Warriors tore through the western conference going 12-0 to the finals. They are the most dominant team since the 90’s Bulls and are a big favorite against the Cavs who went on a similar 11-1 run through the East. We all know the Warriors are going to win the series but lets all hope for a competitive series to help us forget the dreadful 2017 NBA playoffs.