The Warriors reportedly wanted to draw the Rockets in the playoffs to shut them up.
Maybe Golden State developed an appreciation for Houston over the hard-fought seven game series. But the Warriors’ win in the Western Conference finals did not shut up the Rockets, who played the final two games without Chris Paul.
Apparently, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni told Warriors All-Star forward Kevin Durant during Game 7 that his team would have won the series if Paul played. While unwinding long after the win with Morton’s The Steakhouse cuisine and a cold one, Kerr responded to those words by saying, “We would have won the series in five if Iggy played.”
I mean, maybe. The Warriors went up 2-1 with Andre Iguodala then lost Game 4 by just three points and Game 5 by just four points without him. His replacements just don’t match his two-way contributions, so he could have easily been the difference in Games 4 and 5.
But Paul was a bigger loss to Houston than Iguodala was to Golden State. The Rockets lost half their stars. The Warriors still had all four of theirs. That outweighs Iguodala missing four games to Paul’s two.
Mostly, I feel if you rely so heavily on a 34-year-old Iguodala or a 33-year-old Paul with all their mileage, you shouldn’t be completely surprised if they get hurt. It’s an unfortunate outcome, but also an accepted risk.
So, quibbling over this is just an opportunity for Kerr to show the pettiness he once decried coming out of Houston.