"We've got a lot of experience and guys who have seen just about every sort of mix you can find in the National Basketball Association, so that's been the joy, also just sort of figuring out what works for us defensively with all the different moving parts we have", said West, a 14-year veteran who returns to San Antonio for Saturday's Game 3 of the Western Conference finals with his new team up 2-0. "Playoffs, the crowd intensifies, the games get a lot tougher". He also worked out with point guard Patty Mills.
A blowout seemed possible Tuesday night.
In the Western Conference, Golden State Warriors is at a 2-0 advantage against San Antonio Spurs, and games 3 and 4 of the series are slated to move to Texas. So when the Warriors opened Game 2, seeking to make amends for their disastrously slow start in Game 1, it didn't matter who was suited up for the Spurs. And it was only tied for 57 seconds.
Leonard's status remains unknown for Game 3, but the Spurs said that regardless of whether their star player is available, they are going to leave everything on the floor. Combined viewership for playoff games across the league's network partners - ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV - is up 3 percent over last year's pace, averaging 3.7 million.
If that's the case, it might not be until Finals that there is an opponent with the confidence to stand up to the Warriors.
Duncan has been a regular at Spurs practice this season and showed up before a pivotal Game 5 versus the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs. Curry had the hot hand in the third quarter.
Popovich said the Spurs were "feeling sorry for themselves" after the controversial loss of Leonard, injured in Sunday's game one when he landed on the foot of Warriors' centre Zaza Pachulia in what the coach deemed a risky and unsportsmanlike play.
A quick aside: In an ironic twist, Pachulia sustained a right heel contusion early Tuesday night and may not play in Game 3. There's no other way to go about it. That 7-2 lead was quickly 22-10 and then 33-16 by the end of the first quarter.
"I think we may have felt it too much - Kawhi being gone", Popovich said.
"I don't think we believed", he said. You have to believe. If I scoot a little closer, they'll get a little scared because I know I'd get scared. That's the way I process it. The Warriors held the Spurs to 21 points in the fourth, scored 32 points themselves, which allowed them to win. We'd share that sort of thing.More news: Australia plans major spending plus surplus in 3 years
Aldridge finished Game 1 with 28 points, but what happened after Leonard hobbled off in the middle of the third quarter was telling.
"This particular individual has a history with that kind of action", Popovich said. "He can't be timid". The team logged 11 assists on 12 first-quarter field goals. He can't do it.
"He's got to score for us". Scoring's got to come from someplace. Game 1 saw the team come back from a 25-points deficit. One player specifically who saved his worst performance of the postseason for Game 2 against the Warriors is Lamarcus Aldridge.
"It's fun to watch".
THORPE: You have to give him that room so we can land without fear of being hurt.
"He'll be ready, he'll be the same Zaza", Curry said.
But Curry wasn't alone.
Kevin Durant had 34 points, five rebounds, four assists, and four blocked shots in just over 38 minutes for Golden State.
Shaun Livingston scored in double figures for the first time this postseason with 10 points for Golden State.