Warriors star hoping to return in second round

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

You're excited to start the playoffs. I'm kind of positive on, optimistic on each of these guys and how we approach the game no matter what the score of some of those games.

It hardly helped that, with the Warriors locked into the No. 2 seed behind Houston, many of those matchups were meaningless standings-wise. But the Warriors' negotiations with Stephen Curry last summer showed that the team's ownership is reluctant to put a no-trade clause in a contract.

And while it took Gregg Popovich at his best to guide this Spurs team to the postseason, they simply need Kawhi.

While the Warriors have no shortage of impact players even without Curry, they lost 10 of their last 17 games down the stretch.

The squad Golden State's front office has assembled has remained somewhat the same since they became the NBA's best team, as apart from the addition of Kevin Durant in 2016, the Warriors have held on to key pieces such as Shaun Livingston and 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala as well as their core, only adding specialty players like Nick Young and JaVale McGee, as well as rookies picked up during the draft over the years.

Green's mind is, arguably, without a parallel in the league, and his impact on the Warriors is similar.

This matchup pits one of the league's top offenses against one of its elite defenses.

"We learned a lot", coach Steve Kerr said.

A lot was said before these Finals about the non-competitiveness of the National Basketball Association playoffs - the Warriors became the first team in history to start the playoffs 15-0 and sport a point differential of 13.8 points, while the Cavaliers lost just once before the Finals. And Kerr said he and Spurs staffer and son, Nick, are cutting off communication for a couple of weeks.

"It is with great remorse and humility that I accept this suspension for the insensitive words I used during Wednesday's broadcast", Davis said in a statement.

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The Warriors forward can still name every player picked ahead of him in that draft, from memory.

Two years in a row, James' Cavaliers have fallen into a big hole in the NBA Finals against the Warriors.

"We threw Draymond out there and it was like all hell broke loose, defensively", Kerr said. It was like something unlocked.

They don't have a starting center anymore. Needless to say, it was good.

The Hornets also missed the playoffs for the third time in four years, finishing at 36-46 for the second consecutive season.

"It's not just the versatility to switch onto a guard and guard a low-post man". "Sniffing stuff out, blowing it up, coming to the bench after a timeout, making a suggestion..." "If I knew, he'd be here".

That sentiment is one that is shared by many who have coached or played alongside Green.

It was the close finish to a game that seemed certain to end in a rout after Warriors jumped out to a quick 24-13 lead. Magic [Johnson] saw the game, offensively, steps ahead.

"Pop doesn't like to see me lose". The most exciting part of the season is finally here, but it has people already thinking about the wild offseason that is set to take place this summer. "He's one of them".

Durant might sound insane, but he isn't far off base. That was my goal. I think this will be a tough series though. "It was definitely hard, my entire life, my career was always about that".

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