Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr criticized his team’s effort after a Thursday defeat to the Indiana Pacers, but after losing 126-120 to the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday, Kerr was more satisfied.
Per Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com, he said:
“We’re going to be all right. Tonight, we [were] playing a team that desperately needs to win. You can tell the teams around the league that have to win; they’re getting after it. They’re playing for their season. And our season begins next week, and we know that. So I’m not disappointed with the effort. I always want to win. We always want to win. But I liked the fight, especially in the second half, and I think we can take something out of this game.”
Kerr added that the Warriors—just 6-9 in their past 15 games—are ready for the postseason to begin:
“It has been a long haul, for sure. I was hoping that we would be heading into the playoffs healthy. Obviously, everyone wants that. But because we weren’t able to, the last few weeks have been made more difficult.
“But this is all part of it—it’s all part of the journey. This is our journey this year. Every year is different. It has been a bumpy road, but here we are, and I’m really proud of our guys. We have 57 wins and a couple more games and a chance to go into next weekend relatively healthy, so we’re in good shape.”
Draymond Green concurred.
“I’m comfortable with our team,” he noted. “I know we’re a damn good team. Excited to get started in the playoffs. That’ll be good for us. But I’m comfortable with what we’ve got. I’ve got a lot of confidence in this group.”
The Warriors have been beset by injuries, with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, among others, all missing time in the past month. While Durant and Thompson are back, Curry remains out with a Grade 2 MCL sprain that should keep him out for the first round of the playoffs.
In his absence, the Warriors have struggled, and Kerr blasted his team after Thursday’s 126-106 loss to the Pacers.
“Caring, in general, was the main problem,” he said, per Sam Amick of USA Today. “Trying, cutting hard, driving, maybe boxing out every once in a while. Just in general, it’s hard to win an NBA game if you don’t put forth an effort at all. … Yeah, I’m mad. I’m embarrassed. I mean, I know that this game doesn’t mean anything in the seeding, but the playoffs start next week. It was an embarrassing effort, a pathetic effort.”
Despite Golden State’s sluggish close to the season, the Warriors remain the favorites to win the title, which would be their third in the past four years.
The West is obviously loaded, with the Houston Rockets posing a major threat, while LeBron James looms in the East, but a healthy Warriors team in the later rounds is still the team to beat.