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Warriors determined to change the pace going into Game 5 vs. Rockets

The Golden State Warriors will have to come back to their old ways if they hope to once again strip the Houston Rockets of their home court advantage coming into Game 5 of their Western Conference Finals.

Head coach Steve Kerr has been part of a back-and-forth chess match with now-colleague Mike D’Antoni, adjusting to each other after each loss.

In each of the Warriors’ two losses, the team has been lulled into appropriating an isolation style of offense that the team wasn’t meant to emulate — a fight-fire-with-fire approach instead of fighting fire with water.

The Warriors have been rather secretive of the status of their starters in Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson, both nursing injuries from this series, but Kerr hinted at a looming change in the very near future.

“I’m not going to tell you that,” Kerr said when asked what the change was, according to Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. “I think pace is part of that. They are a team that is very physically strong. Their guys are all, they look like they could play football a lot of them. So they’re getting into you and turning it into a physical game and that’s what they want.”

The Rockets have surely read the playbook on how to defend the Warriors, as the Cleveland Cavaliers wrote it in 2016 with several physical plays during their seven-game series.

Kerr is hoping to bring a change to his strategy, choosing to stay true of what got his team this far in the postseason, rather than being tricked into exploiting matchups.

“And we’re a team that likes to play with pace. The results of the last four games were dictated by which team brings its own identity,” Kerr explained. “I use the term force, I know Mike (D’Antoni) uses the term too. I think force is another way of saying really imposing your will and your own identity and your own style. I thought we got away from that last night and it was more of a Rockets type tempo.”

The Warriors are a plus-44 in this series in games in which they’ve dictated the pace of the game (1 and 3). They’ll look to continue the trend, hoping to steal home court one more time before the series comes to an end.