The Golden State Warriors are a tough enough team to beat anyways.
If they get away with some of the stuff they did during Sunday's Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, it's going to be pretty much impossible to take them down.
The Warriors fought back from 25 points down to to win 113-111 in the game, a frustrating outcome for the Spurs, who also have lost Kawhi Leonard to a left ankle injury that leaves his status in doubt.
Leonard was hurt in the third quarter when he landed on Zaza Pachulia’s foot after a jump shot attempt. It’s one play that will leave San Antonio fans shaking their heads.
Here's a look at another play that will make San Antonio fans very frustrated as they look ahead to Tuesday's Game 2:
Check out Pachulia this time just “screening” Spurs guard Patty Mills by reaching out and shoving him with one hand.
It’s an obvious offensive foul and freed up Stephen Curry for a wide-open 3-pointer. He doesn't need that kind of extra help.
Curry ended up with seven 3-pointers and scored 40 points for the Warriors, who are huge favorites to advance to the NBA finals and win the championship for the second time in three seasons.
You can see in the replay just how infuriated Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio bench is with the play. It's inexcusable that all the referees missed the foul.
You can bet the league office will be sending this along to the officials and that they will be taking a close look at screening in Game 2. That could lead to some early foul trouble for key players on either side.
But none of it probably matters if Leonard is not able to return to the series healthy. Without him, the Spurs have absolutely no chance of pulling off the big series upset.
Leonard originally injured the ankle during Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinal series against the Houston Rockets.
Kawhi sat out Game 6 and the Spurs still rolled to a series-clinching win. The star's status for Game 1 of the series against the Warriors was in question, but he played anyways. The former San Diego State star ended up with 26 points in 24 minutes of action before the injury.
Either way, the Spurs will need to be quite a bit better to win Game 2. For their sake, so will the referees.