Well this sucks, Kawhi Leonard is out.
The Spurs will be forced to make it work without the league’s best two-way player. Game 2, without Leonard, was a futile effort for San Antonio as they lost 136-100. Sans Leonard and Tony Parker, the Spurs were left playing LaMarcus Aldridge, Jonathan Simmons, Dejounte Murray, Kyle Anderson, and Bryn Forbes as their players with the highest quantity of minutes.
Yeah, I don’t know who Bryn Forbes is either. Simmons, Murray, Anderson, and Forbes all have NBA D-League experience yet they are, now, key cogs in a Conference Finals against possibly the best team ever.
A glimmer of hope (ha! Not really) for San Antonio is in the fact that the Warriors starting center, Zaza Pachulia, will also be out in Game 3 with a right heel contusion. (Possibly from his foot being stomped on by Leonard...?) JaVale McGee is anticipated to receive the start in Pachulia’s absence and the Warriors may further feature Draymond Green at center than has been typical this season. Andre Iguodala, who played 10 minutes game 1 and sat out game 2, is likely to return as he is probable with some knee soreness.
The disappointment in this series is par for the course in these playoffs that are continually proving to be the proverbial preseason to Warriors v. Cavs III. The Conference Finals have been particularly dismal. Since the Kawhi injury, the margins of victory in the three Conference Finals games are such; GSW +36, CLE +13, and CLE +44.
To make matters worse, the games have been over before the second half even started. The first half margins in the past three games; GSW +28, CLE +22, and CLE +41. FIRST HALF!?
Part of me believes in the Spurs “Pop-ing” the Warriors tonight. Maybe, somehow, they string together a third quarter run fueled by David Lee, Danny Green, and whoever that Forbes guy is. More likely, as much as I believe in Pop, is for the competition before the competition that is going on between the Cavs and Warriors to continue. Cleveland and Golden State, both, clearly want to stay stride-for-stride with each other. The, who is going to lose first, question does not seem as if it is going to be answered until the two juggernauts meet. But we have to wait for that.
If you are looking for a basketball game with a closer margin of victory, check out the Minnesota Lynx at the Dallas Wings tonight at 7 pm on Fox Sports North. That said, the Lynx did beat the Wings 56-93 last season.
Basketball is weird, chat about it here.