VIDEO: Highlights from Wednesday’s games
NEWS OF THE MORNING
Warriors want to finish with No. 1 overall seed | Prognosis grim for Jazz’s Sloan | Hinkie era ends in Philly | Bryant has no specific plans for final game | Ewing wants Knicks’ gig; ‘Melo wants say on next coach
No. 1: Finishing with No. 1 overall seed remains Warriors’ goal — Tonight’s showdown with the San Antonio Spurs (10:30 ET, TNT) gives the Golden State Warriors a shot at reaching 70 wins. It’s also, perhaps, Step 1 in a four-game plan to reach an NBA-record 73 wins. But after yesterday’s practice, both coach Steve Kerr and center Andrew Bogut doubled-down on the notion that finishing the season strong — and with the NBA’s top overall seed — remains the goal. Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle has more:
Yep, the Warriors spent Wednesday recalibrating their focus from chasing NBA history to merely completing a historic regular season by clinching the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
“Every day, it’s the same questions,” said Bogut, who was one of the few who stayed after Kerr told the players they could leave the practice facility following a video session. “Every day, it’s the same thing on TV. Every day, it’s the same article. Every day, it’s a new former player who has a comment. It’s just something you’ve got to deal with, but it’s no excuse.
“We’re going for the record, but if we don’t get it, it’s not the end of the world.”
The Warriors’ magic number for the top seed in the West and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs is two, meaning they would clinch it with a victory over the Spurs on Thursday.
“We’re still trying to get the No. 1 seed,” Kerr said. “… Let’s do that, and then worry about everything else later. … We’ll just try to win tomorrow and then figure out what’s next.”
They haven’t played consistently well in a month and haven’t played a full game of top-notch defense in at least as long. They lost for the first time at home in 55 regular-season games Friday and dropped another one Tuesday.
“I’m actually surprised this didn’t happen a while back,” Kerr said. “There’s a reason that this record has been standing for 20 years. It’s a hard thing to do. …
“It’s a miracle that we’ve gone this far without sort of hitting a bump in the road. … It’s just surprising for people out there — and maybe even our own guys — because this season has come almost too easily for us.”
The Warriors finish the regular season with a home game against Memphis on Wednesday. In between the games at Oracle Arena, they’ll have their first consecutive days off in almost six weeks following a back-to-back set in Memphis and San Antonio.
That should be enough to recapture the Warriors’ focus.
“Once you lose your focus, that’s when bad defense happens. That’s when turnovers happen. That’s when fouling happens,” forward Draymond Green said. “… I wouldn’t say we’re necessarily caught up in the hype, but I think we’ve gotten to the point where … we’re like, ‘All right, we’re kind of ready for the regular season to end.’
“When you’re talking about 82 games, you get bored of that after a while.”
VIDEO: Andrew Bogut talks after Wednesday’s practice