Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs
Date and Time: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 9 p.m. ET
Location: ATT Center, San Antonio, TX
Warriors vs. Spurs TV Coverage: ESPN
The Warriors don’t have a fruitful past playing in San Antonio and you know putting that behind them is important. And they are presented with a great chance of doing that after inserting doubt into the heads of the Spurs after a pair of victories in the Bay Area. The Dubs have won two of the last three at the Alamo going 2-1 ATS in that span. The lone defeat was back in March when they played without Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Igoudala. The Dubs have changed the narrative after losing 33 straight in San Antonio between 1997 and 2013.
Since that loss in March the Warriors have gone an absurd 25-1 and have steamrolled through the postseason, winning 10 consecutive games by an average margin of 17 points. They easily cashed the over on Tuesday and the over is 7-3 in their 10 playoff games. The Dubs sure used the loss of Leonard to their advantage, outscoring the Spurs 194-133 since his injury and they’ve shot better than 57 percent without the top defender on the floor.
It would have taken a massive effort from the Spurs to win Tuesday night without their best player in the lineup. But the more frustrating part of the evening for Gregg Popovich was the lack of belief his team displayed from the tip. Maybe the Spurs thought they couldn’t win without Leonard, and they were proven right. Pop said the effort was “disappointing.” There is time for Leonard to get his ankle into playable condition with three days before Game 3, but as of know he’s questionable, and so are the Spurs chances of winning.
Being timid on the offensive end won’t work against the Warriors, and that’s exactly what the Spurs were on Tuesday. LaMarcus Aldridge needed to step up his game and he did the exact opposite. L.A. scored just eight points on 4 of 11 shooting and realized he took himself out of the offense by trying to move the basketball when the defense sagged. He vows that it won’t happen on Saturday and if the Spurs are to get back in the series, it better not.
The Spurs struggled mightily after Leonard was injured. They led by 23 points when he got hurt in Game 1 and were outscored 56-33 after he departed. The Spurs never recovered and were destroyed on Tuesday, falling 136-100. San Antonio was outscored by 61 points after Leonard’s injury and there’s no guarantee he’ll be back for Game 3. Pop said Leonard is questionable and he probably won’t know his availability until the day before. I wouldn’t put it past Pop to play this out with a little gamesmanship and Leonard will be ready to roll.
Even if Leonard does play it would be difficult to expect much of a contribution. Leonard injured the same ankle he tweaked in Game 5 of the Houston series. That forced him to sit the next contest, though he wasn’t needed in the Spurs series-clinching victory. Recovery time on the same injury is more extensive, and even with a few days to heal and treat, the ankle won’t be the same. And it’ll be tough for Leonard to carry the entire team on it.
Warriors vs. Spurs Free Picks
Given the way the Warriors are playing and the state of the Spurs roster, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dubs playing Game 3 as the favorite. And that should be enough to motivate the Spurs. They should be incensed after their lackluster effort on Tuesday and a better showing is a given with them at home. But is it enough to knockoff the seemingly unbeatable Warriors? With their season on the brink, I expect Leonard to play, and his presence alone will be a benefit to the Spurs.
Check back for odds at BookMaker.eu and go with the home team. The odds are on their side with the Warriors unbeaten in the postseason and victors in 25 of their last 26 overall. Sure the Dubs are good, but that’s ridiculous. And after a nice lashing from Pop after Game 2, we will see a different Spurs team on the floor.
Warriors vs. Spurs ATS Pick: Grab the points with San Antonio at BookMaker.eu
Warriors vs. Spurs Score Prediction: Spurs 109 – Warriors 105