Spurs confident they can come back vs. Warriors even without Kawhi Leonard
“He’s rehabbing right now in New York, trying to get healthy,” Popovich said, according to Michael C. Wright of ESPN.
With not much else to say, Popovich left his press conference and moved on, while his team showed the ultimate support in his recovery.
Patty Mills said Leonard’s absence was “a tricky deal,” but expressed his teammates want “him to keep doing what he’s doing to stay healthy. I don’t know if he’ll be able to do that if he’s in this environment. In saying that, the support is always going to be there from him no matter where he is around the country. We support him getting healthy.”
Popovich had noted his team was not as ready as he thought it was going against this Golden State Warriors team, taking a 21-point Game 1 beatdown in unsuspecting fashion.
Yet veterans like center Pau Gasol won’t make any excuses, as the Spurs have managed to win 42 of their 47 games this season without Leonard.
“We do have the absence of arguably our best player. And that’s been there the whole year. That’s nothing new,” said Gasol. “But we have the guys that we have, and we feel like we have a good chance if we play the right way, we play together, we play harder and smarter than our opponent. We just didn’t quite do that [in Game 1] enough.”
The Spurs will reload tonight and hope to show a better effort containing a good offensive team that pounded them on the glass, boasting a 57-40 advantage on the boards.