By Jay Rich
HHV Sports Senior Staff Writer
Ever since 2014, there has been somewhat of a forced rivalry between the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. When Golden State suddenly got good and Steph Curry won that first MVP, they were always pit against the Spurs. In return, San Antonio held their own.
However, a rivalry did form between the Spurs and Warriors, during last year’s playoffs. What Zaza Pachulia did to Kawhi Leonard is unspeakable. Now, on top of everything else, Kawhi Leonard may end up leaving the Spurs, as he’s on the verge of being a superstar.
But, what goes around comes around, as the injury bug bit the Warriors so hard that they essentially gave up on the first seed. As James Harden’s Houston Rockets took the first seed, the Warriors lost Curry for the season, and the first round of the playoffs. On top of that, Golden State didn’t even win 60 games, losing 10 of their last 17 games.
Some sports critics have praised the Warriors for tanking for the second seed, calling it genius. They say that, because the Rockets will have a tougher road, opening the playoffs against Jimmy Butler’s Minnesota Timberwolves, and then having to play either the Utah Jazz, or the Oklahoma City Thunder. Meanwhile, Golden State’s path is against the first Spurs playoff team to finish under 50 wins since the David Robinson era, and then they have either the Pelicans, or the Portland Trail Blazers, in the second round.
The Warriors definitely didn’t play well against the Jazz, this season, and Timberwolves are playing well. Apparently, without Stephen Curry, the Warriors are not such a good team, and the Spurs closed the season with a blowout win over these Warriors. Losing a late-season game to an eventual first round playoff opponent is never good (shout out the 2006 Miami Heat!).
So, without the Warriors at full strength, and an angry San Antonio Spurs, who feel the 2017 Conference Finals were robbed, as was the 2017-2018 season, they might unleash some fury. Even if they don’t manage to win the first round series, they might weaken them enough that a returning Steph Curry might not be enough to stop the Blazers or Pelicans.
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