Warriors coach Kerr says home-court still #1 goal
NBA.com Global on Jan 23, 2018 07:33 AM
FILE - SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 22: Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors talks to his team in the locker room after winning Game Four of the Western Conference Finals against the San Antonio Spurs during the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 22, 2017 AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Noah Graham /NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Losing the regular-season series to the Houston Rockets 2-1 doesn't have the Golden State Warriors worried the way it does some. When you have played your way to the final day of the NBA season three straight years, you develop a different perspective. When you claim championships in two of those three seasons, you digest regular season games and series with a deeper understanding of how they fit into the bigger picture.
That doesn't mean the Rockets haven't gotten the Warriors' full attention heading into the meat of the second half of this season. Their opening-night home loss to the Rockets and Saturday's (Sunday, PHL time) loss at Toyota Center have made clear the importance of locking in on the goal of securing the top seed -- and the home court advantage in the postseason that comes with it -- in the Western Conference. Mark Medina of The Mercury News has more:
When the Warriors (37-10) play the New York Knicks (21-25) on Tuesday at Oracle Center and then beyond, Warriors coach Steve Kerr cited securing home-court advantage throughout the 2018 NBA playoffs as “probably the number-one goal.”
“We always emphasize home court. We know how tough it is to win at Oracle for an opposing team,” Kerr said. “We know the importance of having a Game 7 at home. We talk about it every year.”
Yet, even if the Warriors talk about it every year, not everyone values home-court advantage equally.
Warriors forward Draymond Green argued that downplayed the issues, attaching more importance toward playing well on Tuesday and arguing that “home court will take care of itself down the road.” The Warriors also downplayed the implications surrounding their loss to Houston on Saturday. Though the Warriors still have a 3 ½ game lead over the Rockets (32-12) for the Western Conference’s best record, Houston holds the tie breaker over Golden State after winning two out of three regular-season matchups.
“The season starts over when you’re in the playoffs, anyway,” Warriors forward Kevin Durant. “You’re going to have to get to these teams to get to where you want to go. You got to play at home and on the road. It really don’t matter. We just want to be playing good basketball when it comes down to that point.”