People seem to forget the Golden State Warriors are the defending NBA champions.
They haven’t been at their best this season, either because of injuries, inconsistent play, or some hard-to-explain defensive issues on the road, but they’re still the team to beat until proven otherwise.
However, they’re not likely to go above the sixth seed in the Western Conference, so home-court advantage is out of the question throughout the playoffs.
That’s why several teams feel like they finally have a shot to put the dynasty to rest, and it doesn’t feel like they give the reigning champions the respect they deserve.
With that in mind, Gary Payton II wants to remind the rest of the league who they’re dealing with.
Per Payton, the Warriors have what it takes to figure things out in the playoffs and go back to being the same dominant and winning team they’ve been since Steve Kerr took over:
“I’ll see you in the playoffs. We can figure it out in the playoffs,” Payton said in a recent interview. “That’s the only thing I can say: We’ll figure it out in the playoffs. If you ain’t there, I don’t know what to tell you.”
GP2 has a message for teams that believe they can send the defending champs home early 👀 (via @957thegame)https://t.co/CBNLjh9egQ
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) March 31, 2023
Of course, it’ll be easier said than done, and it’s not like the Warriors will have a lot of time to figure things out.
But they’re not usually the kind of team that loses consecutive games, especially against the same rival.
Kerr and his coaching staff have proven to be elite at making adjustments, especially come playoff time, and their perimeter defense should get a massive boost with Payton now back on the floor.
The Warriors might not look as good as they did back in the day, but you still don’t want to face them in a seven-game series.NEXT: Steve Kerr Comments On Warriors' Playoff Chances Without Andrew Wiggins