The Western Conference Finals have not exactly played out the way most expected. The matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors has been a much-anticipated playoff matchup for a few years, and NBA fans were finally going to get what they wanted this series.
That is until the third quarter of Game 1 as the Spurs were off to a blistering start when Spurs superstar forward Kawhi Leonard re-injured his ankle as he landed on Warriors center Zaza Pachulia’s outstretched foot after a jumpshot.
It’s been a highly-scrutinized play, and it has been a difference-maker in this series as Leonard has remained out and the Warriors are one win away from their third consecutive playoff sweep.
If the Spurs, who are already without the services of Tony Parker and David Lee, are going to derail the Warriors’ plans, they’ll look to a player they scooped up from their D-League team, former Austin Toro and Austin Spur Jonathon Simmons, who has been a key player in Leonard’s absence.
Simmons has been very consistent throughout the playoffs, and the Spurs will need his defense against Kevin Durant, and his offense as the Spurs look for answers to get points on the board.
LaMarcus Aldridge has not stepped into the role most expected him to with Leonard out, so the burden falls especially on Simmons’ shoulders on the brink of elimination.
Aldridge, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills will also be important. Mills has been limited by Golden State’s defense and has not made the impact he made in the Houston series, while Ginobili has been a consistent threat off the bench.
The Warriors smell blood in the water and they’ll look to end it early with their quick-striking offense, but a player who was starring against the Santa Cruz Warriors just years ago will be pushed into the spotlight tonight.
“Having to deal with a 3-0 hole isn’t the best scenario for the San Antonio Spurs, who are now heading to Game 4 as 11-point home underdog. The Spurs have a much bigger problem than Game 4’s spread, center/forward David Lee will be out tonight, which opens a much bigger chance for Golden State to sweep San Antonio in route to their 3rd consecutive NBA Championship series” says Dave Strauss, line manager at MyBookie.ag online sportsbook.
Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs
Golden State Warriors -11-110
San Antonio Spurs +11-110
217½ O-115 / U -105
Odds By MyBookie