San Antonio Spurs
Season series: 3-0 Houston Rockets, 1 to play
It seems like a decade ago that San Antonio knocked off Houston in the conference semis. Last year’s Spurs won 61 games and led the Warriors by as much as 28 in Game 1 of the WCF before Kawhi Leonard went down.
They haven’t been the same since. Leonard is refusing to play through a quad injury that has been medically cleared. San Antonio is going to have its first season without 50 wins since what seems like the Great Depression.
We still don’t know if Leonard will return. What’s becoming increasingly clear is that even if he does, he will not be himself. There is simply not enough time between now and the playoffs that Leonard could work his way back to MVP-caliber.
The rest of the roster is scraps around a rejuvenated LaMarcus Aldridge. The looming threat of Gregg Popovich and 2014 playoff LMA gives me slight pause. However, the Rockets, on paper, are a vastly better team than this year’s Spurs.