Warriors' Stephen Curry on track to return in Western Conference semifinals

Warriors' Stephen Curry on track to return in Western Conference semifinals

Warriors' Stephen Curry on track to return in Western Conference semifinals

In recent days, as he fielded repeated questions about "turning on the switch" and "stepping up to the challenge", head coach Steve Kerr balanced his optimism with a heavy dose of realism.

Golden State had a 4-6 record in their last 10 games in the regular season while San Antonio had an even 5-5 slate.

Yet the aura of invincibility surrounding the Bay Area franchise has dimmed in the closing weeks of the regular season. Andre Iguodala, David West, Nick Young, and Shaun Livingston haven't been playing well for the past two months (none of the team really was at the end of the regular season, to be fair). It's why Steve Kerr made a decision to surprise everyone and go with Andre Iguodala as the starting point guard, which meant Golden State began the game with a lineup that had logged exactly zero minutes together all season long - Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Durant, Draymond Green and McGee.

Kerr is adamant that the regular season will count for little as the play-offs come into view. The good news is we have performed well for four years, so we know who we are.

McGee has been used sparingly in two seasons with the Warriors.

The ultimate goal is holding that trophy up.

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Meanwhile, Paul proved his regular-season prowess in averaging 18.6 points and almost eight assists despite sharing ball-handling duties with Harden.

Meeks tested positive for banned compounds ipamorelin and growth-hormone-releasing peptide-2, but Meeks issued a direct denial to ESPN and said he plans to appeal the punishment. "And only a few teams have been able to do that (since the 1976 NBA-American Basketball Association merger)". The Miami Heat star apparently expects Paul George to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers - a belief shared by many - but he also could see the Spurs trading Leonard to the Celtics.

The Cavaliers arrive in the playoffs after a roller coaster season which was transformed after a frenzied series of deals before the trading deadline, which saw them acquire George Hill, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr., and Jordan Clarkson. The Warriors won that series in four games but the Spurs lost Leonard in Game 1 when he came down on the foot of Zaza Pachulia. Sure, they didn't take their customary seat in the lead vehicle of the postseason parade, but injuries, particularly to Steph Curry, played a role in that as well as the fact that their rivals from Houston caught fire early and finished strong.

Depending on how long Cleveland's postseason lasts, James also has a shot at passing Ray Allen (385) for career postseason 3-pointers; he's 55 shy of taking over the No. 1 spot there. In what has been an uncharacteristically rocky season for the Spurs, they still managed to lock up a playoff appearance for the 21st consecutive time.

"Nope, I have no need to reflect", he said.

The streak hasn't gone by unnoticed either, considering the Dayrells Road men took down the two league leaders in successive games with wins over Station Hill and Lakers. The Toronto Raptors, the Eastern Conference's top seed, will then begin their series against the Washington Wizards, with tipoff set for 5:30 p.m. ET. Despite Houston's success this season, Golden State is still the team to beat. Harden was a mess in the series clincher in which he was held to 10 points and looked positively bewildered in the 114-75 demolition.

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