Warriors embracing road test vs. Rockets
The Golden State Warriors will not have home court advantage for the first time in three years, matched up against the Western Conference’s top-seeded Houston Rockets. But don’t believe this team is wandering unto uncharted waters, having experienced it first-hand in a loss to the L.A. Clippers in the 2014 playoffs.
“It was just a learning experience for us on how to be successful on the road in a hostile environment during the playoffs,” point guard Stephen Curry said of the 2014 series, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “It left a sour taste in our mouths, the way we lost. We then understood how truly important it was to have home-court advantage, and that was one of the reasons why I think we were able to turn the corner.”
Head coach Steve Kerr, who said his team has notably taken stride during the playoffs, noted this will be added to the list of challenges they must conquer before a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance.
“It’s different,” Kerr said of starting on the road. “I think our guys, they are taking the challenge, and they’re embracing it. They feel like, ‘OK, we don’t have home court for the first time,’ but we seem to be at our best when we are threatened. That’s been kind of the M.O. of this team. We’re definitely threatened. We’re on the road for Game 1, we’ve never felt that.”
Veterans that have been at both sides of the picture like Andre Iguodala; who joined the team in 2013, still pose a warning to getting too comfortable once the Warriors return home for Games 3 and 4.
“I don’t have comfort being at home,” he said. “You’ve got to be careful with that. There’s always like a show wherever we go. It follows us on the road. Sometimes that gets the best of us. But it’s the playoffs. We’ll be ready. We have to be.”