Spurs lead series 3-2
The Tuesday night matchup between the Rockets and Spurs was perhaps the best game of the playoffs thus far. While the execution was poor, by both teams, during the overtime of Game 5 it was nice to finally have some real drama. I am still shocked by the walnuts Manu Ginobili showcased in trying to block the league’s floppiest fish, James Harden, as time expired.
The usual Harden-stopper, Kawhi Leonard, injured his ankle in the third quarter of Game 5 and therefore was held out for all of overtime. Ginobili and Jonathan Simmons did a great job on Harden in lieu of Leonard. As great as Ginobili and Simmons were, the Spurs still have exponentially better odds if Leonard is available tonight. Currently, Leonard is listed as questionable for Game 6.
As of publishing, the Rockets are 6.5-point favorites in tonight’s matchup. According to Topbet.eu, the Rockets have a 72 percent chance of winning Game 6. However, the Spurs are still the favorites to win the series, 76 percent according to Topbet’s odds.
Whether Leonard returns tonight or for Game 7 back in San Antonio, it looks like the Spurs and Golden State Warriors playoff matchup could finally happen. The Steve Kerr Warriors have been on a miniature dynasty run but have never faced Gregg Popovich and the Spurs in the playoffs. Last season, when the Warriors won 73 regular season games and the Spurs won 67 it seemed that destiny would square off the dynasty of old with the dynasty of new. This year, it could actually happen.
But will the Western Conference Finals even be a contest?
Whether the Warriors draw the Spurs or the Rockets in the next round, this season’s destiny appears to be Cavs versus Warriors III. Topbet has the Warriors having an 88 percent chance of advancing to the Finals, regardless of their Conference Finals opponent, and fivethirtyeight.com agrees in giving the Warriors a 90 percent chance of reaching the Finals.
The existential question of this playoffs has been: what are we even doing here? With the Cavs and Warriors both undefeated through eight games there appears to be a growing chasm between the two contenders and everyone else. Whether this complete dominance is good or bad for the league is up for debate. As a basketball purist, I am excited about this Rockets and Spurs series, but simultaneously sad that it seems to just not matter.
At least in this series, we can expect competitive games. Tonight should be fun, chat about it here.