The Golden State Warriors enter every season with one goal–to win the NBA Championship. While competition will come and go from different teams, the Warriors have stayed the one constant in the Western Conference. As much as we can attribute that to the players, Steve Kerr should get his respect.
What has happened this season may be just from a loss of interest or fatigue. That’s not to disrespect any other team in the West, but this is about the logic here. The Warriors have been to three straight NBA Finals, looking for a fourth, and yet, where is the real threat?
Yes, the Houston Rockets look serious with James Harden and Chris Paul, but haven’t the Warriors been here before? Haven’t they dealt with the Clippers when they were contenders? What about that Oklahoma City Thunder team who had them down 3-1 with Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant? And how can we forget the San Antonio Spurs with LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard? This is nothing new to them.
But what has changed this season for this Warriors team?
To put it bluntly, they are tired. Not saying their recent rash of injuries aren’t legit, but it’s a little strange that they’re happening at the same time to the star players right before the end of the season. Maybe Klay Thompson’s fractured thumb is not that bad off or what if it was the playoffs, there’s no doubt he would have played. But it’s not, and Kerr is doing right by resting his shooter. The same goes for Stephen Curry and his injured ankle. Curry has dealt with this before but with the Warriors already in the playoffs, why risk further injury?
Kevin Durant will miss two weeks as he deals with a rib fracture but is he really needed with only a handful of games left? So what if there are only a few games behind the Rockets for the best record in the West, the Warriors don’t care. Kerr is from the old school where great teams win wherever the game is played. Doesn’t matter if it’s on the road or at home.
The Warriors have taken some heat lately with whispers they’re scared knowing they can’t catch the Rockets for homecourt so they are mailing it in. Maybe so, but what everyone must worry about is what happens when they come back fresh. While Harden is doing his usual MVP chase and not getting any rest, Curry, Thompson, and Durant are watching from the bench, itching to get to the real season.
Their days of playing for stats and MVP’s are over. The Warriors understand there’s a bigger prize than MVP trophies and home-court advantage. So before anyone continues with the Kerr is ruining the game or the Warriors are faking injuries talk, please note that this is the same group who has played by season’s end, 386 games (not counting this season’s playoffs). Yes, they are tired and if they wish to use an injury excuse, so be it.