Zaza Pachulia expected to be enemy No. 1 for Spurs fans

Ebony Scott
May 21, 2017

Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia will not play in Saturday's Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the San Antonio Spurs, the team announced.

The San Antonio Spurs were hoping for a little home-cooking in Game 3 after dropping two games in Oakland. He reinjured the ankle Sunday in the second half of San Antonio's Game 1 loss in the finals series. The Spurs were blown out in Game 2 because, outside of perhaps Jonathon Simmons, no one helped replace Kawhi Leonard's production.

This is where things get interesting for San Antonio.

McGee led the Warriors' fine start, scoring all of his 16 points in the first half.

It is possible that Leonard returns, the Spurs win a big game 3 and we get a full blown series after all.

Stephen Curry contributed 21 points and three 3-pointers. Popovich mentioned after Game 1 that he anticipated Leonard's recovery to take longer than when he originally suffered the injury in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. LaMarcus Aldridge has received a ton of criticism for his performance in Game 2 (it was bad, to be fair), but does anyone realistically feel he would've made the difference in that game, even if he had been all-time great? He came out aggressive and in seven minutes of play, he had nine points for the Warriors. Patrick McCaw added 18 points off the bench.

The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 2-0. As you can see from his shot track below, McCaw was extremely efficient on offense, converting on multiple drives and taking advantage of extra space on the perimeter.

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If the San Antonio Spurs are going to make it to the NBA Finals, they're going to have to dig deep.

The Game 2 of the Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs will air on ESPN, which means it will be available to live stream online on WatchESPN.com as well as the broadcasting network's flagship streaming app - Watch ESPN. Out West, we'll be left wondering most likely, and with a not so innocent aroma hovering above the whole absence of Leonard.

Leonard is averaging 27.7 points on 52.5 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists during the postseason.

There will be a lot of talk about how LaMarcus Aldridge is the player who needs to step up for San Antonio, given his star status. Making his first start in the playoffs, the Dubs' center, who's often seen on Shaq'tin a fool, was their best player in the first quarter. With the Leonard situation up in the air, San Antonio will not offer up any answers.

"I don't want to put that on any one guy", he said.

The reason why he is going to be absent from the third game of the series is due to ankle injury. Lee appeared to injure his knee on a lay-up that tied the game at 21 apiece. "They come after him, to find somebody, turn it over, take good shots". Last postseason, the Warriors never won more than five games in a row (the final three against Oklahoma City in the conference finals, and the first two against Cleveland in the Finals) while the Cavs won their first 10 games before dropping two in the conference finals to Toronto.

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