Golden State Warriors face ‘different challenge,’ enter playoffs with no expectations

SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden State Warriors are again within the playoffs for the primary time in two years. And in contrast to the final time they had been within the postseason — and the 4 instances earlier than that — there aren’t many expectations surrounding them.

Positive, they’re anticipated to make it previous the primary spherical. Perhaps even the second. Some imagine they might go to the Western Convention Finals. However not one of the dialogue across the Warriors compares to their dynastic period, after they had been clear favorites to win all of it each season.

“Nobody is picking us to win, to come out of the West, at least I don’t think, except our families,” Stephen Curry stated. “Which is fine. It’s just a matter of you’ve got to win four games, and in order to do that, we have a certain game plan we are going to try and execute on Saturday … and we understand every game takes on a new life of its own.”

Added Steve Kerr: “I think four years ago … I am expecting to win a championship. But we are a different team now. I don’t have any expectations. I know I’m not going into the playoffs thinking, ‘All right, we’re going to do this or do that,’ I’m just thinking, ‘How can we beat Denver on Saturday?’ In a lot of ways, it makes it really fun. Maybe not as fun as having one of the greatest rosters ever assembled, but it’s a completely different challenge and unique.”

The Warriors are in no way counted out. However for them to really compete with the 2 groups above them within the standings — the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies — loads has to go proper.

That features the crew’s well being.

Curry took a step towards getting Golden State’s roster entire once more on Thursday as he participated within the crew’s scrimmage, an important marker in getting him again on the courtroom after a month away.

However because the Warriors have but to play a full recreation with their total lively roster, they must do one thing they’ve by no means been tasked with: work out their rotation and enjoying combos in actual time all through the playoffs.

To not point out, they are going to be doing this with a roster that, in contrast to these previous Warriors tremendous groups, would not have a complete lot of playoff expertise on it. Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Inexperienced, Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney have loads of playoff basketball to drag from. However trying on the different rotational gamers corresponding to Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, Gary Payton II and Jonathan Kuminga and even gamers corresponding to Nemanja Bjelica and Otto Porter Jr., their resumes aren’t as lengthy.

Thompson confirmed his youthful teammates highlights from the Warriors’ 2016-17 season, after they received 73 regular-season video games, got here again from a 3-1 collection deficit to defeat the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder within the convention finals and in the end blew a 3-1 result in LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers within the NBA finals. Thompson needed to point out them the vary of occasions that may occur, even when you’re the favourite to win.

He additionally confirmed them a clip of Kobe Bryant from the 2009 NBA finals, when Bryant informed reporters that he wasn’t completely satisfied after profitable the title as a result of his job wasn’t completed.

For Thompson, having that particular person mindset is all that issues heading into the postseason.

“I still have the same expectation as I did before, and that’s to win a championship,” Thompson stated. “It’s right there for us. We know how hard it is, and yeah, it’s a different time, but nothing is ever the same. We have the opportunity ahead of us, and it’s a great one. “

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