The fall of Stephen Curry may just be what the San Antonio Spurs need to finally clinch the top spot in the Western Conference. With the Kawhi Leonard team inching closer to dethroning the Golden State Warriors, all hands on deck are needed in the rapidly heating up NBA playoffs 2016. In addition to the LaMarcus Aldridge team, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are eagerly waiting for an opening to take down the Draymond Green squad. Can the Golden State Warriors defend the crown without last season's NBA MVP?
The recent win of the Golden State Warriors against the Houston Rockets gave the Klay Thompson team confidence that Curry is not the only key to their success. However, the San Antonio Spurs also have an achievement that is indicative of their status in the NBA. For the second year in a row, Kawhi Leonard was named the Defensive Player of the Year - an award that ranks him higher than Draymond Green in the NBA today.
"We all think it's a snub, just because he's such a big part of our defense," commented Thompson of the failure of Green to win the award. The other half of the Splash Brothers added, "With him being able to guard every position. He's our backline communicator, he and (center Andrew Bogut), and he's so good at rebounding and leading the break. It was a shock to all of us. But what can you do?"
For his part, Green acknowledged that Leonard showed remarkable talent this NBA season. Commenting on his failure to bag the Defensive Player of the Year award, the Golden State Warriors star shared that he knew it was a toss up between him and the San Antonio Spurs big man. According to Green, the decision to give Leonard the award was a good call.
"I think (voters) could have went (sic) either way," shared Green of Leonard's win. He added, "At the end of the day it didn't play out differently than I expected. I expected one of us (he or Leonard) to get it, and he got it. You know, he's a great defender. It's not like I'm looking at it like, 'This guy can't defend.' He's a great defender, so it's not really that big of a deal, like (there's) something that I didn't see happening."
Apart from Leonard, the San Antonio Spurs are also looking into the growth of LaMarcus Aldridge. The former Portland Trail Blazers star earlier caused quite an uproar among NBA teams that wanted to sign him which included the Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. When he first entered the San Antonio Spurs, some fans were disappointed with his performance especially in light of the development of his ex-teammate, Damian Lillard. However, it looks like Aldridge finally got his bearings and is now deemed as one of the potential successors of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker.
"I think it took him longer to adjust to us than it did us to get used to him," shared Duncan of Aldridge. He added, "He continued to try to defer to us for a long time while we were trying to push him to take over."