The Spurs are led by Kawhi Leonard, who averaged 25.5 points per game in the regular season, and is returning from missing the final game of the semifinals. The Warriors are led by Stephen Curry, who averaged 25.3 ppg.
Here’s what you need to know:
What: Game 1, Western Conference Finals
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.
When: Sunday, May 14, 2017
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Line: Warriors -10
Here are a few of the ample story lines to watch when these familiar teams begin their best-of-seven series Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena:
Leonard had just a few days to get healthy.
Popovich said he went through a full practice Saturday.
“He’s a soldier, man. He’s a fighter,” Durant said. “If he’s out there, he’s not going to make any excuses.”
Out of work last season, Brown spent much of his time attending Spurs meetings, practices and games in an informal capacity with good friend, Popovich . Kerr hired Brown as an assistant last summer.
Brown, last a Spurs assistant in 2003 who has said he hopes to do something to repay Popovich someday for the opportunity, certainly learned some X’s and O’s but it went far beyond that to observing how Popovich has adapted to players now and continued to be a top-notch communicator.
“Mike who? I don’t know a Mike Brown,” Popovich joked. “Mikey’s done a great job. Steve was really smart in hiring him. He didn’t hire him for this reason, Steve didn’t want this to happen, but they know each other well. Mike knows the program well. Steve is right there with him, in his ear. They’re doing things the way they’ve done it for a while now under Steve’s leadership.”
David Lee will face his old Warriors team, while David West faces the Spurs, his former team.
A swap of Davids, indeed. West has been helping the Warriors get ready for his old team.
While he still keeps in touch with Curry and others, Lee is downplaying any potential nostalgia from his time with Golden State.
“I try to keep things as simple as possible,” he said. “It’s a building and an environment, a lot of people out there that I’m very familiar with and keep in touch with many of the guys on their team still. With that being said, they’re competitors, I’m a competitor, guys on my team here, the Spurs, are competitors.”
The Warriors again are well-rested and healthy for the next round of their championship chase.
Durant, for one, feels great after dealing with a left knee injury that cost him 19 games late in the regular season then a nagging left calf during the Portland series.
San Antonio will have to try to keep pace from the tip.
“We didn’t have much time to practice. It was a long series, an exhausting series and now we play at noon, but we’re here,” Manu Ginobili said. “We’ve got to prepare as fast as we can.”
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)