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Golden State is much better set up to handle the absence of Curry than the Spurs are to handle the absence of Leonard.

However negotiations pan out, expect the roots Durant has planted in the Bay Area to continue spreading and the Warriors to remain among the NBA's elite teams.

The Spurs lost at New Orleans in Wednesday's regular season finale and will now open the 2018 National Basketball Association playoffs on the road against the defending National Basketball Association champion Golden State Warriors.

Curry's injury and the Warriors' recent disorder has helped other Western Conference teams' confidence heading into the postseason, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe. "There are people who will say, 'I would rather play the Warriors right now in the first round than the Thunder or the Jazz.' Right now".

Another NBA Finals victory would be the second of Durant's career and second since he's played for Golden State.

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With a rash of injuries and tougher competition this year, the Warriors' path to the Finals might be tougher than ever. Before this season began, many thought the Warriors winning the championship was all but ensured.

And while Oklahoma City hasn't played well enough that the Warriors should fear them, the possibility of a breakout is always looming for the Thunder, and no team would want to be on the other side of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Steven Adams figuring it all out.

"It made sense to do the one-year deal".

The Warriors' hamstrung offense will face the league's third-best defense in the first round.

The Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans are the longest shots of the playoff teams at 300-1. At the time, I said it was the right decision, but given the draw the Warriors landed on Wednesday, it looks like a downright stroke of genius.


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