27/06/2022

Klay Thompson: “There’s no shortcuts to a championship”

Martes 08 de Mayo del 2018

Klay Thompson: “There’s no shortcuts to a championship”

Klay Thompson, NBA playoffs, Golden State Warriors,

Klay Thompson, NBA playoffs, Golden State Warriors,

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OAKLAND — It has seemingly become a foregone conclusion ever since the Houston Rockets decided to have an arms race last offseason with the Golden State Warriors.

The Rockets and the Warriors would face in the Western Conference Finals to settle a debate. Would the Warriors steady core of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green defend their NBA title? Or would the Rockets’ addition of Chris Paul, Luc Mbah a Moute and PJ Tucker help James Harden unseat the defending champs? Don’t look now, but that moment likely will arrive assuming the Warriors and Rockets close out their respective series on Tuesday against the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz.

“You can’t believe the hype. Everybody is already talking about Warriors-Rockets. But both teams still have a job to do,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. “We’re not going to sleep on the Pelicans just because the chatter is about the Western Finals. This team has plenty of talent to upset us tonight and we’ll come prepared and come ready to play.”

After all, the Pelicans won Game 3 after delivering an unstoppable dose of Anthony Davis (33 points) and Jrue Holiday (21), a facilitating and agitating Rajon Rondo (21 assists, two intentional trips) and surprisingly emerging Ian Clark (playoff-high 18 points). The Warriors responded in Game 4 by featuring their so-called Death Lineup that entailed Andre Iguodala starting with the team’s four All-Stars for the first time all season. The Warriors plan to do the same thing with Game 5 on Tuesday at Oracle Arena.

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“There’s no shortcuts to a championship. We’re not trying to take one tonight because this team is an obvious threat,” Thompson said. “It showed in game 3 what they’re capable of, so we have to come out with great energy to start the game. It’s going to be a battle.”

Plenty anticipate the same thing against the Rockets, which earned the No. 1 seed over the Warriors and beaten them twice out of three regular-season matchups. The Warriors brushed off both of those developments, arguing that their long-term health played a bigger factor than home-court advantage and that postseason peaking boded more importance than regular-season apathy.

The Warriors maintain they will not worry about those questions. Perhaps until later.

“We need to have tunnel vision. We can’t be thinking of what’s to come,” Thompson said. “Just what is in the present. Right now, it’s the Pelicans. So it’s human nature to look beyond and see what’s ahead. But for us, why we’ve been so successful is because every series means something to us, whether it’s the first round or second round or the Finals. It’s a badge of honor anytime you win an NBA series. I know a lot of guys who haven’t even won one. Tonight is another opportunity to put another notch under my belt.”

Follow Bay Area News Group Warriors beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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