San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors Game 1 Preview
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
When: Sunday, May 14, 2017, 3:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ABC
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Betting on the San Antonio Spurs (+500)
Expect fireworks to erupt this coming Sunday when the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors square off in Game 1 of their much-anticipated Western Conference Finals showdown. This will be the first time since 2003 that two 60-win teams will lock horns in a best-of-7 series.
San Antonio’s road to the Western Finals has been anything but easy. After surviving a physical battle against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of this year’s playoffs, the Spurs had to endure Houston’s dynamic run-and-gun offense in the second round. Not many were expecting the Spurs to advance in that series after their 27-point loss in Game 1 but once again Gregg Popovich and co. proved the doubters wrong. The Spurs managed to win four of the next five games even without stalwarts Tony Parker (Game 2 – ruptured left quadriceps tendon) and Kawhi Leonard (Game 5 – ankle sprain).
The Spurs displayed their depth in that stunning Game 6 win against the Rockets with six players scoring in double-figures. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 34 points and grabbed 12 boards in the clincher while Jonathan Simmons stepped up big time in the absence of Leonard, scoring 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. The good news for San Antonio is that Kawhi is fit and ready to go for the series opener on Sunday. He has been a vital cog for the Spurs this postseason, averaging 27.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in the playoffs. The Spurs will need a herculean effort from Leonard if they are to stand a chance against the mighty Warriors.
Defense will be key for the Spurs if they are to make this series competitive. San Antonio went 7-0 in the first two rounds when holding teams below 105 points and just 1-4 when it didn’t. The Warriors have scored fewer than 105 points just once this postseason.
The Spurs are 3-3 SU and ATS on the road in this year’s playoffs. They are pegged at +700 to win this best-of-7 series.
Betting on the Golden State Warriors (-700)
Can anyone stop the Warriors? That’s the question on everyone’s lips heading into Game 1 of their best-of-7 series against the Spurs. Golden State recorded four-game sweeps against Utah and Portland in the first two rounds to go 8-0 in the postseason for the first time in its history. The Warriors look like a well-oiled machine with new acquisition Kevin Durant (23.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG) perfectly complimenting the triumvirate of Stephen Curry (27.1 PPG, 6.0 APG), Klay Thompson (16.1 PPG) and Draymond Green (14.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 7.3 APG). They are averaging a playoff-high 115.3 points per game this postseason. Golden State’s defense has been spectacular as well, allowing just 98.8 points in the postseason to lead all teams still alive. The Warriors’ 96.9 defensive rating is tops in this year’s playoffs.
If there’s one team, however, who can put up a fight against this super-team, it’s got to be San Antonio. The Spurs were the No. 1-ranked defense during the regular season, allowing only 103.5 points per 100 possessions. Also they managed to go 2-1 against the Warriors in the regular season, albeit one of those victories came on opening night, the other came with the Warriors resting their stars, and the lone defeat featured a truly remarkable Golden State comeback.
That being said, there’s a reason why bookmakers are listing the Warriors as -1,200 favorites to advance in this series. How can you stop a lineup that features three of the best shooters the NBA has ever seen? Draymond Green, the Warriors’ fourth-best scoring option, has been playing some incredible basketball as well, knocking down 51.2 percent of his three-point attempts in this year’s playoffs. If Green continues his hot shooting against San Antonio, this series will be over quickly.
The Warriors are 1-3 ATS at home in this year’s playoffs.
The Warriors (-10.5) stamp their class against the Spurs in Game 1, 117-99.
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