Oakland, CALIF. (KTVU/Joe Fonzi) - Some thoughts after the Warriors’ 115-106 win over the Houston Rockets in game two of their playoff series:
It was an entirely legitimate concern that the Warriors were missing their leading scorer and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player. The Warriors, though, have been very clear about their ultimate objective for the 2015-16 season. They know the record they set for best regular-season record in league history means nothing if they don’t win the championship. Does anyone remember the 2001 Seattle Mariners, won a record 116 regular-season games? If they’d won the World Series, we’d remember the names of everybody in the lineup.
The point is, the Warriors now care only about winning the championship. That means 16 post-season wins. They’ve already knocked two off that total, the most recent, without Steph Curry. They may be thinking about resting Curry again for game three in Houston. Last night proved they’re deep enough, and good enough, that they don’t need to risk their franchise player on an eight seed. The Warriors will need Curry when their opponent is the Spurs, or the Thunder, or the Cavs. They can afford to rest him against the Rockets.
The Warriors’ depth was clearly demonstrated by Andre Iguodala’s performance, and the effort by Shaun Livingston, who started in Curry’s place. The three Warriors centers combined for 23 points, and 10 rebounds. Add Draymond Green’s motor, and Klay Thompson’s 34, and you’ve got a team that’s about a lot more than one player. Steve Kerr used eleven players in game two, in all.
The look on the Warriors’ collective faces says it all as they came down the tunnel to the locker room. They were satisfied with their performance, but while confetti was falling from the rafters of the arena, the players understood that the win was only one more notch in their ultimate goal. To achieve that ultimate goal, the Warriors know their immediate goal, is to get Curry completely healthy before they send him back on the court.