The Spurs waltzed into Houston on Thursday night for Game 6 without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker and destroyed the Rockets, 114-75, in one of the most lopsided elimination games in NBA history. In doing so, the Spurs reminded everyone of how dangerous they can be — with seemingly any combination of players in the starting lineup — and also set up the matchup that we have been waiting for in the Western Conference for three years against the Golden State Warriors.
The last two postseasons, we’ve craved the eventual collision course between the Spurs and Warriors, but San Antonio has failed to live up to its end of the bargain, losing in the first two rounds and failing to go far enough to take on Golden State. This year’s meeting won’t have as much juice as it would have last year, when the two teams had combined for 140 regular season wins, but it’s still a tremendous matchup and gives this Warriors team, which has accomplished almost everything, the rare chance at a first.
Golden State has beaten six Western Conference franchises over the past three years in playoff series, but they’ve yet to face the West’s big boss, Gregg Popovich’s Spurs. This isn’t by any fault of their own and it’s not to say the Warriors wouldn’t have bounced the Spurs out of the playoffs as they did every other team in the West, but they just haven’t faced the team most would consider their biggest rival in the West until now.