SAN FRANCISCO – It was nothing but good cheer in the Warriors’ locker room after Golden State bulldozed the Pelicans in the team’s regular season finals Sunday night.
After a challenging month of March, the Warriors were able to turn their fortunes around in the final stages of the season, with a five-game winning streak increasing in the postseason.
“We’re trying to do a lot of things at once, trying to develop young players and get people back from injury,” coach Steve Kerr said after the win. “We stopped it, and the guys have a great achievement to finish with 53 wins and now obviously we have to take the next step.”
Crossing a 50-win plateau in a one-season rollercoaster leaves Kerr & Co. even more excited about what’s to come post season.
The Warriors’ 53 wins are the eighth most wins in a season in franchise history, and they tie for the third-best record in the league. With Klay Thompson, Drummond Greene, Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala losing a combined 156 games during the season, Golden State made it this year despite not reaching full strength from a health standpoint.
The Warriors’ victorious core of Thompson, Greene and Curry haven’t even played a full game together, amassing just 11 minutes throughout the season. Likewise, that trio did not collectively share the court with projected starter Andrew Wiggins, who was ill during the few days all three were available to play.
Entering this crucial week of practice before hosting the sixth-seeded Denver Nuggets on Saturday for Game 1, questions about Curry’s availability kept him out for the final 12 games of the season after he sprained his left leg. Went.
Hopefully he will be ready by this weekend. If so, Hall of Famer Tim Hardaway believes the Warriors have a “hell of a run.”
But even if Curry is not approved for the first game or games after the season, the Warriors are confident that their best is yet to come.
Klay Thompson is making his progress just ahead of time for the playoffs. He combined 110 points in his last three matches, his best since his return earlier this year. Thompson caught fire down the stretch, raising his season average points per game to 20.4, a feat the 32-year-old gave himself a pat on the back.
“The evidence is on the court how he’s been looking over the last few weeks, you can see he’s settled down just a little bit, the game has slowed down, he’s slowed down in a good way, taking better shots, He’s in a great groove now, so that’s a good sign,” Kerr said of Thompson. “Kale looks as good as ever, so lots of cool stuff.”
Draymond Green also found his rhythm when he looked a step back from the game in his first few weeks with a back injury. Green’s 99.2 defensive rating is the best among league starters in the last six games of the regular season. He has also returned as one of the most important playwrights of warriors.
Between the revival of Thompson and Greene and the emergence of Jordan Poole and Gary Peyton II, the Warriors are well positioned to make a deep run in the postseason if they continue at the pace they were running at the end of the season.
Adding Curry back into the mix will increase his chances of winning the title.
“It’s huge,” Thompson said. “And I’m really excited right now.
“We’ve dealt a lot this year with an adversarial approach whether it’s not exhaustive, people are getting injured. So many people have stepped up … what was the year we had to deal with, 53 wins still a big It’s an achievement. We’re almost fully recovered and going into the playoffs. And I’m feeling great this year.”