Okay, the San Antonio Spurs was able to survive and humiliate the Houston Rockets in the West Semis even without Kawhi Leonard -- but why not the Golden State Warriors where they even led by 23 at the time of the injury in Game 1 of their Western Conference Finals series?

  • The Warriors (altho they play quite similar to the Rockets) has better personnel as in 2 guys who are better than James Harden in the person of Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, and 2 guys who are better than any Houston player not named Harden in the person of Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
  • Kawhi has become the best player of the Spurs with the ‘easing out’ of the Hall-of-Fame-bound ‘Big 3’ in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili -- otherwise, the injury would not be big a problem since a ‘young’ Manu alone could more than do everything Kawhi is tasked to do.
  • Any team (unless it’s a lottery team) could stay competitive so long as their best player is available. The Spurs just blew their 23-point lead since they could not make an in-game adjustment with the untimely exit of Kawhi -- and so, Curry and Durant had much more leeway in the game.
  • Jon Simmons is young and athletic, he could get to the rim, hit jump shots and even play defense -- but -- he’s less agile compared to Kawhi, therefore, he could only do so much. In the absence, or having less than a hundred percent Kawhi, team effort and discipline becomes even more important.
  • Injuries to multiple players of the ‘same position’ is like losing your best player as it would affect the team’s rotation and strategy, therefore, putting so much load on your best player. This is why the Spurs could still win even without a Tony Parker since they still have Mills and Murray with Kawhi and Manu helping out under a good system.
  • The Spurs is the only team (aside from a ‘complete and healthy’ LA Clippers team) that could beat the Golden State Warriors and more so, the Cleveland Cavaliers for the title -- with the Houston Rockets and the Memphis Grizzlies capable of taking the Cavs to a ‘who-knows’ Game 7. Without Kawhi, perhaps it would be better for the Spurs to just look forward to the next season -- for if ever they could still beat the Warriors, they would be too tired already to play in the Finals. Perhaps.

Say what you?

Published by Consumer Live