Court Warriors Article by Morissa Lindsay Published on April 13, 2018

Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors vs Minnesota Timberwolves NBA 25012018

The same player who had been unwilling or unable to take a step up when needed in last year's playoffs, and who had had similarly absent stretches in his postseason play before, was very much present, willing and able to step up this time.

Curry suffered the sprain during a game against the Atlanta Hawks in March.

Heading into the Warriors' opening-round playoff series against the Spurs, there was some talk that the defending champions had reason for worry.

San Antonio scored just 22 points in the paint after it averaged 43.8 on the year.

OAKLAND Warriors forward Kevin Durant rarely has faced a defense that can stop him.

I never like to overreact in a series from one game to the next, but it was made obvious in that victory that the Spurs are extremely limited offensively and are going to have their hands full at both ends without their best player. This 2017-18 Golden State team has been ravaged by injuries - at times, playing without all four of its All-Stars - as it dropped 10 of 17 games entering the playoffs.

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But they lost all four regular season games to the Rockets and could well get swept in this series too as they try to keep James Harden and Chris Paul in check. "That's what we think is going to happen", Kerr said. The Spurs are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 meetings, the favorite is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings and the over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Golden State. The Warriors themselves know how good they are.

Spurs star Leonard has not played since January 13 as he recovers from quadricep tendinopathy.

The way the Warriors move the ball around, look to willingly pass the ball and find the easiest possible shot makes them deadly on the offensive end. "I can pretty much unequivocally say, without it, we're not looking at the team we have right now". Quinn Cook has been starting at point guard for Curry, and is expected to continue in that role against the Spurs in the playoffs. "There's no way. He's being re-evaluated in three weeks, so we gotta be ready to play without him and see how he's coming along".

"I like Houston and Golden State, pending their health, as being my top two favorites", five-time victor Kobe Bryant said during a conference call to promote his new basketball analysis show "Detail" that will run on ESPN during the postseason.

In this piece, we break down for you the specifics of this exciting first-round series from the Western Conference playoffs.

Maybe we'll get a Cavaliers-Warriors final for the fourth year in a row. But over the course of a best-of series, it's hard to bet against the Warriors.

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