Warriors Beat Spurs in Game 1

The NBA over the past few years has often been characterized by the dominance of just a few teams. One of these teams, the Golden State Warriors, has won two of the past three NBA championships and has looked invincible at times. While the Warriors have looked very difficult to stop at times in the past few years, there is now plenty of reason to believe that the Warriors could suffer a first-round upset in the NBA playoffs (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp/2018/04/12/2018-nba-p...).

During the regular season, the Warriors ended up winning 58 games while losing 24. This was good enough for them to finish in second place in the conference to the Houston Rockets. While finishing second during the regular season is normally a sign of success, it did show a significant drop off compared to the prior few years in which the Warriors were able to secure the number one overall seed in the Western Conference.

To make matters worse, the Warriors ended up getting matched up with the San Antonio Spurs during the first round. The Spurs have been one of the most consistent teams in the NBA for the past 20 years. This season, the Spurs struggled at times due to the loss of some very key players to injury. However, the team has continued to move on past these injuries and has developed a significant amount of cohesion and now looks prepared to make a move in the playoffs.

While some people are concerned about the Warriors and their ability to beat the Spurs in a seven-game set, the team was able to get off to a fast start this past weekend. In game 1 of the playoffs, the Warriors ended up winning by more than 20 points and looked tough through the whole game. The Warriors were once again led by Kevin Durant who scored 24 points and had 8 rebounds.

Going forward, the Warriors will likely need to continue to rely on the efforts of Durant. During the regular season, Durant continued to be one of the most consistent players in the league and had some good games against San Antonio. His ability to match up with the Spurs has created an advantage for the Warriors, which they will need to be able to exploit even more during the rest of the series. The Warriors will also need further defensive efforts from Draymond Green to control LaMarcus Aldridge.


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