Kawhi Leonard expected to play Sunday against Warriors

Ross Houston
May 19, 2017

At the final National Basketball Association playoff game between the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets Thursday night at Houston's Toyota Center, one pair of Rockets fans got a little more than they bargained for when they were put on the infamous kiss cam during a break from play. The Spurs last saw the NBA Championship in 2013 when they bested the Miami Heat.

The Warriors are 8-0 this postseason and are looking to return to the NBA Finals for the third straight year.

"He's going to play", said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

He then missed the Spurs' 114-75 win over Houston in Game 6 on Thursday.

Despite the series lasting six games, five of them were enormously one-sided. I take responsibility for it, both ends of the floor.

Though Harden posted a tally of 28.5 points, 8.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds during 11 postseason games, he wasn't almost as efficient, making only 27 percent of his three-point shots.

Harden finished with 10 points on two-of-11 shooting with seven assists and six turnovers. Golden State coach Steve Kerr rested Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

According to a point spread vs moneyline conversion chart I found from The Wizard of Odds (great name), these odds are like an National Football League team being 17-point underdogs (so, say the Browns playing the Patriots in New England). The Dubs have also had the luxury of enjoying a week rest in advance of their showdown against the Spurs. "I expect them to come away with one win, and it wouldn't surprise me if they get swept".

Back in 2013, the Spurs were the second seed again while the Warriors were the sixth seed. D'Antoni is 0-5 in playoff series against the Spurs, with Popovich eliminating his Suns teams in 2005, 2007, 2008 and the Lakers in 2013 before this season's loss.

The series will feature several subplots, most notably among the coaches. Outside of that, Patty Mills and Danny Green could shoot the Spurs into a competitive series. But most of us conveniently forgot that the Spurs are not Leonard's team.

San Antonio was up by 23 after the third quarter and scored the first seven points of the fourth to make it 94-64 and send numerous home fans streaming to the exits.

"He looked better today", Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said. He will likely draw the main assignment of guarding Durant, looking to slow down the Warriors forward from taking over will be the start of any chance the Spurs have at an upset.

"We've seen him in different jerseys since he's left here (Boston and Dallas before San Antonio)", Curry said.

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