National Basketball Association playoffs 2018: Predictions, picks for Warriors vs. Spurs first-round series

San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard

I don't know if the Warriors, losers of 10 of their last 17 games, didn't care about the final month of season or if they were merely overmatched without Stephen Curry in the lineup. That said, Durant has no intentions of leaving the Bay Area.

The Warriors have looked vulnerable, unlike any other time during their three-plus-year reign with the NBA's top record and their struggles at both ends of the court have been well-documented, clearly lacking the same fire that made them such a tough team to beat.

Because of this, Durant signed a two-year contract worth $53 million, with a player option for the third year.

Curry does so much for the Warriors that Golden State will take him at 50 percent healthy, but against San Antonio and either Portland or New Orleans, the possibility of the Warriors rushing Curry back is mitigated.

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Curry, the engine of the Warriors, whose skill set helps generate the entire offense, apparently changes that.

Additionally, for the first time since the Warriors juggernaut formed, they enter the playoffs with questions about "flipping the switch".

After slogging through the 2017-18 season, can they round into form on a moment's notice and become the fast-paced, swarming, and lethal team we've known them to be? That is, the repetitions needed to be that good aren't there.

Steve Kerr said Curry will be re-evaluated Saturday, but the head coach doesn't anticipate the guard will play at all in the first-round series, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. He has added a defensive element to his game this year making him one of, if not the best two-way player in the National Basketball Association. Should they advance, they'll play the victor of the Portland Trail Blazers-New Orleans Pelicans series.

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