2017 NBA Playoffs
2017 NBA Playoffs

Numbers preview: Western Conference finals - Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs

John Schuhmann

John Schuhmann NBA.com

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May 12, 2017 2:28 PM ET

If the Spurs hope to top the Warriors, they'll need Kawhi Leonard, who missed Game 6 vs. Houston, on the floor.

Over the last four seasons, the Golden State Warriors (258-70) and San Antonio Spurs (245-83) have the league's two best records and two of its three championships. But they haven't faced each other in the playoffs in that time ... until now.

When the Spurs won the title in 2014, the Warriors were knocked out by the Clippers in the first round. A year later, the Clippers beat the Spurs in the first round. Last year, the second-seeded Spurs were taken out in the conference semifinals by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Now, we finally have the matchup we've been waiting for. The Warriors have reached the conference finals with ease, sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz. The Spurs have needed 12 games to get through the first two rounds and lost a starter (Tony Parker) along the way.

San Antonio is the only team that had a winning record against the Warriors this season, but it's difficult to read much into those results given the circumstances (see below). Really, this is like a brand new matchup between what have been the two best teams in the league over the last seven months. It's the league's No. 1 offense (Golden State) vs. the league's No. 1 defense (San Antonio).

After missing Game 6 in Houston with a sprained ankle on Thursday, Kawhi Leonard is expected to be back for Game 1 against the Warriors on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, ABC). The Warriors will have had five full days off since they last played.

Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the Western Conference finals, with links to let you dive in and explore more.

Pace = Possessions per 48 minutes
OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Golden State Warriors (67-15)

First round: Beat Portland in four games.
Conf. semis: Beat Utah in four games.
Pace: 101.3 (3)
OffRtg: 114.4 (2)
DefRtg: 96.9 (1)
NetRtg: +17.4 (1)

Regular season:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. San Antonio:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups


Warriors playoff notes:


San Antonio Spurs (61-21)

First round: Beat Memphis in six games.
Conf. semis: Beat Houston in six games.
Pace: 92.7 (13)
OffRtg: 112.9 (3)
DefRtg: 106.1 (5)
NetRtg: +6.8 (3)

Regular season:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
vs. Golden State:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups
Playoffs:Team stats | Advanced splits | Player stats | Player shooting | Lineups


Spurs playoffs notes:


The matchup

Season series:Spurs won 2-1 (1-1 at Golden State)
Oct. 25 @ GSW - Spurs 129, Warriors 100
Mar. 11 @ SAS - Spurs 107, Warriors 85
Mar. 29 @ SAS - Warriors 110, Spurs 98

Pace: 98.1
GSW OffRtg: 100.7 (16th vs. SAS)
SAS OffRtg: 112.9 (2nd vs. GSW)

Matchup notes:

John Schuhmann is a staff writer for NBA.com. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter.

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