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Staff Picks: How can the Spurs possibly get past Golden State?

The Spurs suffered a heart-breaking Game 1 loss at Golden State. Is there anything San Antonio can do to get past the Warriors?

Shannon McKeown
Shannon McKeown

Pick: Warriors in 5 games
What can the Spurs do?:
Pray for multiple injuries to hit the Warriors. Golden State's embarrassment of riches is understated at times. The Warriors have been an all-time great team the past two seasons, and they've added a perennial first-team talent to the mix with Kevin Durant. The Spurs are a very solid team and the 2nd-best team in the Western Conference by a wide margin, but they would need Durant AND one of the Warriors other three All-Stars to suffer injuries to make this an interesting series. Golden State in five.

Ken Crites
Ken Crites

Pick: Warriors in 5 games
What can the Spurs do?: Without Kawhi Leanard, who is missing Game 2 and possibly more, the Spurs are suddenly the Memphis Grizzlies. That might not be completely bad, as the Grizzlies went 2-2 versus Golden State during the regular season. Of course, that was the regular season, and with Tony Parker also injured, they might be “Memphis without Mike Conley”. Without The Claw, San Antonio will be forced to further slow things down and pound it inside to LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol. Unfortunately, an Aldridge and Gasol lineup can’t possibly guard a spread out Warriors offense. The threes will reign down and they’ll rain down hard, with plenty of unpleasant jawing from Draymond Green. Expect lots of minutes from Jonathon Simmons and Dejounte Murray. I’m hoping Leanard can return for at least one game in San Antonio and lead this proud franchise to one last 2016/17 victory. But I fear that’s all Spurs fans can hope for.

By the way, I agree with Coach Pop’s assessment of Zaza Pachulia’s cheap shot defense on Leanard, and Zaza’s history with the Spurs. ”And you want to know how we feel about it?...”:

Nick Whalen Nick Whalen

Pick: Warriors in 4 games
What can the Spurs do?
After Game 1, I'm not sure there's anything San Antonio will be able to do to make this difficult for Golden State. Maybe the Spurs can take one at home, but it felt like Game 1 was their best chance to flip the entire narrative of the series. Golden State scored 16 points in the first quarter, Klay Thompson shot poorly, Draymond Green was in foul trouble, and Mike Brown didn't quite seem to have a handle on his rotations. Question Brown all you want, but the other three things likely won't happen again, not to mention the fact that Kawhi Leonard, who was a plus-21 in 24 minutes Sunday, probably won't be close to 100 percent for the remainder of the series.

<a href=>James Anderson</a>
James Anderson

Pick: Warriors in 4 games
What can the Spurs do:
I think the Spurs would need two of Durant, Steph, Draymond or Thompson to go down with injuries and or suspensions to have a chance in this series.

Joel Bartilotta Joel Bartilotta

Pick: Warriors in 5 games
Reasoning: Before the series began, my pick was a Warriors sweep. At halftime of that Game 1, I was ready to wipe out that prediction and call for every fans dream, a 7-GAME SERIES! Now that Game 1 played out the way it did, I am ready to waffle and go back to my sweep prediction. Not only is the Kawhi Leonard injury hovering over these Spurs like a Stephen King Mist, it's so hard for a team to recover after blowing a 25-point second-half lead like they did in that Game 1.

The only way San Antonio can come back is these list of rules:
1. LaMarcus Aldridge plays like an All-Star
2. Kawhi Leonard plays in Game 2 and stays healthy throughout the whole series (Editor’s Note: Leonard is OUT for Game 2)
3. Patty Mills averages close to 20 points and 10 assists per game
4. A role player (Manu Ginobili, David Lee or Pau Gasol) has a renaissance series.

While all those things are possible, it's just too much to expect against a machine-like Warriors team. That's why I'm going to predict Golden State wins this series in five games or less.

Ben Miller Ben Miller

Pick: Warriors in 5 games
Reasoning: Unfortunately, there's not much the Spurs can do. Unless an unexpected miracle occurs where both Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard magically return to full strength, it's going to be tough for the Spurs to even pick up one win in the series. Leonard and Parker were the only guys that could consistently create offense for everyone else on the roster, so the Spurs aren't going to be able to score enough to keep up with the Warriors' pace. That said, I don't see a Gregg Popovich coached team getting swept, so I'll go with the Warriors taking the series in five games.

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