Even after advancing to the second round, the Rockets (except Clint Capela) insisted they weren’t counting on a Houston-Golden State rematch. The Warriors still hadn’t beaten the Clippers yet.
But even Golden State player Klay Thompson, after the Warriors’ Game 5 loss last night, admitted he was looking ahead.
Thompson, via Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area:
“Yup, start with me, I was,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson admitted. “I thought we were going to come out and win tonight, but sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. We’re still in a great position with hopefully only 48 minutes left to close these guys out.”
Players sometimes overlook a game. They rarely admit it.
But Thompson was quite fired up during his postgame interview. He also said:
Build from this game? This game sucked. We lost. Let’s go win Friday. Let’s win big. Let’s freaking win by 30 like we’re capable of.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr also seemed agitated last night. Murdock:
Just before Kerr walked off the podium late Wednesday night, he was asked by a reporter what the identity of his team is going into Game 6.
Kerr, almost taken aback, let out the frustration he’d been holding for much of the session.
“What’s the identity of our club?” Kerr asked back. “Back-to-back champions.
“Like, we’re really good. I mean, we’re hanging banners. What’s our identity? We play fast. We play defense. I don’t know. Maybe we should do an instructional video later, and we’ll send it to you.”
The Warriors’ identity has been raising banners. That won’t remain their identity unless they earn it.
For a team that doesn’t appear to be locked in, I’m not sure talking about their capability of winning by 30 or how great they are is the best course. Maybe that will motivate the Warriors, if they take pride in preserving their elite status. But hungrier teams usually fare better.
I’m just not sure how the Warriors regain that appetite.
On the bright side for them, they might be talented enough to win another title, anyway.