The stage is set; the San Antonio Spurs will take on the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, which begins Sunday, May 14.

Recapping the season series

The Spurs won the season series 2-1 against the Warriors, with two convincing victories. The first meeting between the two teams was on the opening night where the Spurs cruised to a 29-point victory. One can argue that the Warriors were still adjusting to Kevin Durant and didn’t have sufficient team chemistry.

In the second meeting, both teams didn’t have their star players. The Warriors rested Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson.

The Spurs were without LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, and Tony Parker. As for the final meeting, the Warriors went into San Antonio without Durant on the second night of a back-to-back and handed them a 12-point loss.

1. Golden State Warriors vs. 2. San Antonio Spurs

The Warriors will come into the series well-rested after sweeping their first two opponents. Most importantly, everyone on the roster is healthy and ready for the Conference Finals. The Spurs will come in a little banged up, as Tony Parker is out for the rest of the playoffs and Leonard has an ailing ankle. The loss of Parker didn’t show much against the Houston Rockets, but it will show against a potent defensive team like the Warriors.

The difference between the Rockets and Warriors is that Golden State plays top-notch defense. In fact, they were the second best defensive team behind the Spurs during the regular season.

Additionally, the Warriors have so many offensive weapons that it is going to be very tough for San Antonio to stop them. Danny Green and Leonard will have to stop Durant, Thompson, and Curry around the perimeter, which is a tough task.

The Spurs did a solid job of protecting the three for most of the series against Houston, but the Warriors are more than just a three-point shooting team. They use beautiful ball movement, and basket cuts to find offense in the paint as well.

For the Spurs to have a chance, their bench has to be the biggest factor because they are much deeper than the Warriors.

Manu Ginobili, Jonathon Simmons, Pau Gasol, and David Lee must be consistent and efficient throughout the series to provide extra help for their star players and pound Golden State’s bench. This is where the Spurs need to take full advantage to give themselves a legitimate shot in the series.

Each game should be close and very entertaining, but the Warriors are simply too talented and offensively dominant for the Spurs and should be able to win the series.

Prediction: Warriors 4-1