Opening Night Preview: Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs

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Location: Oakland, CA

Arena: Oracle Arena

Time: 10:30 p.m.

Golden State Warriors

PG: Stephen Curry

SG: Klay Thompson

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Draymond Green

C: Zaza Pachulia

San Antonio Spurs

PG: Tony Parker

SG: Danny Green

SF: Kawhi Leonard

PF: LaMarcus Aldridge

C: Pau Gasol

Key Matchup

Kevin Durant vs. Kawhi Leonard

Kevin Durant vs. Kawhi Leonard is a battle of the NBA’s best offensive and defensive small forwards. Durant led all small forwards with 28.2 points per game last season and Leonard has won two consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards. Durant is lucky he won’t have Leonard on him all game. Since Leonard is so quick, Gregg Popovich will have him covering Stephen Curry at times to cool him down. Leonard has a lot of work on his plate tonight. 

Warriors Storyline

Superteam?

The Golden State Warriors took over the 2016 NBA Offseason with the signing of superstar small forward Kevin Durant. Now the Warriors have sharp-shooter Klay Thompson as their offensive third option. With forming a super team, they lost a lot of depth. They lost Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa and Brandon Rush via trade or free agency. Durant is more valuable than all five of those players if every Warrior stays healthy. 

Spurs Storyline

No Tim Duncan

Tonight marks the first night since 1997 that Tim Duncan won’t be playing on opening night for the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs brought in Pau Gasol as his temporary replacement. Gasol looks like his Lakers-self again averaging 17.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per game his last two seasons with the Chicago Bulls. Gasol isn’t as strong defensively, but the Spurs have one of the leagues best defenders already in Kawhi Leonard. The Spurs should be okay without him this season. They went 17-4 without him last season. 

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