This is the confidence that comes with NBA championship rings and multiple Finals appearances.
For Toronto, landing the first No. 1 seed in franchise history and having every Eastern Conference playoff series they are in start at home is a huge boost. Out West, having home court in a possible Game 7 against the Warriors in the Conference Finals is something the Rockets want. Badly.
LeBron has been to the Finals seven straight years and reached that peak from a bunch of different seeds, and he’s won critical games in hostile arenas. Having to win a game in Toronto or Boston in May is not going to shake his confidence, as he said Thursday.
LeBron is a bad-ass, and he knows it. So does everyone else.
Golden State’s Green also essentially said “seedings, we’re talking about seedings?” when he was asked about the Rockets’ 17-game win streak and the Warriors trying to chase them down for the top seed.
“I guess you always want the No. 1 seed. It is what it is. You know we’re not gonna spend the rest of the year trying to fight for the No. 1 seed. If that happens it happens, our goal is to get better each and every day. If we’re getting better each and every day and we’re at the top of our game at the right time I don’t care where we playing. We’ll be just fine so our goal is just to get better.”
Steve Kerr and the Warriors care far, far more about being rested and healthy when the postseason starts than seedings.
Despite the upstart challengers in both conferences, the road to the NBA Finals goes through Oakland and Cleveland. Even if the road doesn’t start there in either conference. If you want the title holder’s belt, you’re going to have to knock him out.