The Warriors have been here four years in a row.
Most of all, though, Kerr thinks that their preparation has been a month in the making. That the playoff atmosphere has been present:
“Its felt like that for the last month. Every team brought their best against us. Played different defenses, experimented. It felt like the playoffs in many ways.”
At Oracle over the past 31 days, the Dubs have played a lot. They lost their first home game of the year while playing host to the Boston Celtics — a team that fought tooth and nail, and pulled out every stop.
Four nights later, Minnesota took them down in Oakland.
This isn’t an unusual phenomenon in basketball. But for the Warriors, who posted the best regular season record in history this time around, losing any games was a shock. Especially at home.
It’s not debatable that a few regular season losses never hurt any team. Playoff losses, though, are different. And teams will scratch and claw for every possession.
And it’s doubtful the Warriors will get any love from the officials. But Kerr says the comfortable feeling, and the experience, is a well that Golden State can drink from as much as they’d like:
“It’s never easy. I think, in my experience as a player, once the team that I was on won a championship, it felt comfortable the next year. ‘Okay, we know what’s coming. We can do this.’ You can dig back into your memory and remember, okay, we were down 2-1 against Memphis, down 2-1 against Cleveland. You know the feeling of danger. But it’s good to be able to reach back and think about those things. Recall the response and think about what’s necessary. And if you think about that today, April 16th, it’s a long way to go. So we’re going to have a lot of ups and downs through this postseason. So we’re going to have a lot of experience to draw from.”
The Warriors, no doubt, are the most feared of any NBA squad. The February trade deadline was as empty as ever, and the common thought is that no general manager or team executive felt that they were close to being able to compete against Stephen Curry and company.
The record clearly helps argue that. The film, and the point differential — one of the highest ever through 82 games — make an even stronger case.
And as the Warriors open their first playoff game as 13-1/2 point favorites, it seems as though nobody thinks Houston in particular, has a chance. Chalk it up to a solid core, who have tremendous chemistry and experience.
“We have a great mix of personalities and characters n our team. And I think you need that. Steph is a very calming presence. Draymond is the fire. Andre and Bogues are kind of the wise sages of the group. And you need a little bit of everything. More than anything, you need the group experience that we have now. They’ve been through this together.”