SAN FRANCISCO — “So, we’ll be fine.”
Draymond Green said exactly that a few times after the Warriors blew a 12-point fourth quarter lead to lose at home to the Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Every other Warrior who went up to the podium postgame echoed that sentiment.
This is still a confident Warriors team who took a “we’ve been here before” attitude.
“We pretty much dominated the game for the first 41, 42 minutes. So we’ll be fine,” Green said.
“But like Draymond said, there’s no reason to panic,” Klay Thompson echoed. “I like our chances still, and we’ll go home and we’ll digest what happened. I know we’ll be better Game 2.”
“My gut reaction, what I just witnessed, [the Celtics] came in and played a hell of a fourth quarter, and you have to give them credit,” Coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s pretty much as simple as that.”
“So we’ve done it before and got a lot of confidence we can do it even based on how tonight went,” Stephen Curry said.
You get the idea.
Green was wrong about the Warriors dominating the first “41, 42 minutes” — Stephen Curry dominated the first quarter with 21 points and six made 3s, but the Celtics were only down four after that barrage.
Steph’s first quarter was unreal 🤯 pic.twitter.com/8XikhIZALU
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) June 3, 2022
At the half, Boston led by two. The Warriors did dominate the third quarter, but in the fourth it was inexperienced Boston that showed real poise, saw its role players step up, and took control of the game with 40 points.
That fourth quarter didn’t faze the Warriors, with Green saying the Celtics “are who we thought they were.” They were not bothered by off nights for Jordan Poole (nine points on 2-of-7 shooting) or Green himself (2-of-12).
Golden State players tipped their caps to Boston and started looking ahead to games they believe they will win.
Green, who never lacks for confidence, was still brimming with it postgame.
“And our history, we’ve always won one on the road. So, you know, it’s just nothing to panic about,” Green said. “It’s the first team to win four games, not the first to win one.”
“But it’s a seven-game series for a reason,” Kerr added. “I think you give Boston credit. They came in and earned the win. Played a great fourth quarter. We’ll come in, watch the film tomorrow and see where we can get better, and you know, it’s one game. So you move on to the next one.”
The Warriors core went to five straight Finals and lost the first game in a couple of them. They have that experience to fall back on.
“So obviously our core, we have been through this a couple times. You know, you lose in the first game of a series but we have obviously had some tough losses in the series and you find a way to bounce back,” Curry said. “You have to rely on that experience but it’s also just making the necessary game plan adjustments and coming out with a focused effort that everybody can kind of feel like they are going to impact the game at some point.”
The last thing one should suggest is that the Warriors lost any confidence.
“We’ve always embraced challenges. It’s no different. We’ll embrace this one,” Green said. “So no, it’s not a hit to the confidence at all not one bit.”