Game 1 preview: How will Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard look vs. Warriors?

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May 14, 2017 - 9:44am
Game 1, Western Conference finals Mike Brown (interim), 1st season with Warriors (0-0 with Warriors and 347-216 overall); Gregg Popovich, 21st season with Spurs (1,150-506 with Spurs and overall) Spurs: PG Patty Mills (11.2 ppg, 2.5 apg), SG Danny Green (7.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg), SF Kawhi Leonard (27.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg), PF LaMarcus Aldridge (16.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg), C Pau Gasol (7.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg) Spurs injury report: PG Tony Parker (ruptured left quadriceps tendon) is out. The question is whether Leonard will have any lingering soreness Sunday. Because for San Antonio to make this series competitive, he likely needs to be at full strength. Leonard is one of the NBA’s elite two-way players — a two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year capable of erupting for 30 points any given night. The Spurs cruised to a 29-point win by forcing 16 turnovers and corralling 21 offensive rebounds to attempt 13 more shots. Because Golden State is one of the most efficient teams in NBA history, it is nearly unstoppable when it’s trading shots with its opponent. [...] forcing the Warriors, who have won 23 of their past 24 games dating back to the regular season, into mistakes these days is easier said than done. In its four-game sweep of the Jazz, Golden State twice tied a franchise playoff record with only seven turnovers. What does Gregg Popovich have up his sleeve? A big reason Popovich is one of the greatest coaches in NBA history is his ability to find some unexpected, tactical advantage. In just his third week as the Warriors’ acting head coach, how will Mike Brown respond to whatever Popovich has in store? Gregg Popovich on how the Spurs plan to bottle up the Warriors’ explosive attack

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