May 16, 2017, 9:03 pm
If there was any doubt about how Game 2 between the Warriors and Spurs was going to play out, look no further than Gregg Popovich’s remarks following Game 1 about the Spurs chances without Kawhi Leonard. The game seemed to be over before it started for all the reasons Popovich thoroughly laid out. The NBA Draft Lottery was more exciting, so that should tell you something. Let’s get in to Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals and check in on the lottery.
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WARRIORS TAKE A 2-0 LEAD WITH THE SPURS DOWN KAWHI
Game 2 got quickly out of hand, as the Warriors built a 72-44 lead at halftime. They never looked back and led the entire game with a 136-100 thrashing over the shorthanded Spurs. All 13 players who saw the floor scored for the Warriors. They are now the 5th team in NBA history to begin the playoffs 10-0.
Steph Curry was on fire all night, as he shot 8-for-13 from the floor (6-for-9 3PTs) and 7-for-7 from the line for 29 points with seven boards, seven assists and three steals. His 31 minutes were the most of any player on the Warriors, which goes to show how big of a blowout it was. He has averaged just over 29 points per game in the 2017 NBA playoffs.
With Curry playing at an MVP level lately, Kevin Durant has become somewhat of an afterthought in recent weeks. KD, along with the rest of the starters, didn’t have to do much in Game 2. He finished with 16 points, two boards, three assists, one block and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes.
Draymond Green was a menace on both ends of the floor, finished with 13 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes.
The remaining splash brother Klay Thompson hit two 3-pointers for 11 points, six rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes. The Warriors starters sat much of the fourth quarter.
Zaza Pachulia suffered a right heel contusion after playing seven minutes and did not return. He came down awkwardly on a dunk and got a little gimpy after the play. Matt Barnes (1-for-6, two points) started in his place and should pick up a bulk of the minutes as the Warriors go small. Pachulia was under heavy scrutiny for injuring Kawhi Leonard, so it seems to be only karma that he was hurt the next game. He will get an MRI late on Tuesday.
On the losing side, Jonathon Simmons seemed to be the only Spur that showed up. Simmons shot 8-for-17 from the floor for 22 points with three boards, three assists and two 3-pointers. He has stepped up big in place of Kawhi Leonard, but you obviously can’t replace a superstar.
LaMarcus Aldridge failed to step up and had a poor showing. Aldridge shot 4-for-11 from the field for eight points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in 27 minutes. As a former all-star at a prime age, he needs to play better when his team is down their franchise player.
Following the game, Popovich said that he “expects to see a different team” in Game 3. The Spurs will have ample time to figure things out until Saturday.
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CELTICS DRAW NO. 1 PICK IN THE 2017 NBA DRAFT LOTTERY
The Boston Celtics took home the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft lottery, edging out the Lakers and the Sixers.
The final lottery order:
1. Celtics (via the Nets)
3. Sixers (via the Kings)
5. Kings (via the Sixers)
10. Kings (via the Pelicans)
The Celtics were favored for the top pick with a 25% chance, so there was no surprise there. The Suns fell out of the top-3, causing the Lakers to leapfrog them to the second spot. Expect Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball to go 1 and 2, regardless if the picks are traded.
The Kings were also a big winner on Tuesday, landing both the No. 5 pick and the No. 10 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. This marks the first time in franchise history the Kings will have two top-ten draft picks.
That will do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish, playoff edition! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallTweets. Happy Hump Day Hoop-Ballers!