Durant Returns; How Warriors Will Manage Final Games of Regular Season; A Look at Western Conference 1st Round Matchups

Matt Steinmetz
Sunday, April 9th

JD and Steiny talk Kevin Durant's return, how the Warriors will manage the final week of the regular season and take a look at the 1st Round playoff matchups in the Western Conference.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Are we walking into the beyond the numbers podcast for 95 point seven game docket everything warriors and India as the season is wrapping up and we'll let everybody know we're coming to you before the warriors face the pelicans. At ORACLE Arena and before the return of Kevin Durant to the warriors lineup civil reacted. To AT and his return. On Monday's podcast. As we get ready for the warriors it has put that Matt is we sit here. Three games to go the warriors have everything locked up and it's actually. Pre season games are warm up games for the playoffs now. There really are and it could've worked out any more perfectly through Golden State Warriors. They've locked up the number one seed they got Kevin Durant come back for last three games of the season. There's nothing gets staked so. There's no pressure on the ran it serves and have a to perform well debate today the number one seater go over take the explorers. So I just think it's. Exhibition in the next affable art and of course you thought the find out who warriors are gonna play Portland or Denver. Behind stepping curry not playing in the game against the pelicans. And I. Ask Steve year old are these basically like pre season games out of an Iran run. Howry got a manager of the one thing that speaker Sam was viewed as anticipate anybody playing. More than thirty minutes. It idiot these final three games he also said they had IE the game against the pelicans. Is more about. Just didn't derail a good run again everybody's admitted that he even less focused in that game without. Get a rotation set up or trying to get guys. In order playing with a rant because stir he's going to be out and Maria Durant are obviously gonna have to play a lot to gather. And function well together of the warriors are gonna achieve their goal so look for more of the in terms of importance of what it's gonna look like moving forward Monday when Hillary's actually back in line. Well look if if you're a fan who. Is wondering. Well how close to rant gutter readjust to play with curry and play. Yeah house. It's curry got to be the number one option like you was after derailed laughter where's it gonna go back to the way things were before Durant got her. Steve Kerr is now worried about that. And the reason he's now worried about that is because that's guru be playing tonight if you were really really concerned about that I've got to believe so. I think that's overblown to I don't really necessarily think they have played together for certain amount of time. To give themselves the fab shop the post season I think that's all it'll work itself out and quite frankly JD I think that if Kevin Durant work even to play these last three games and he would join the TV game one of the playoffs. I don't think that would be a big deal. That he'd gone a month and a half or so without playing with a state. John tickets and that's done that so warriors behind the numbers podcast for 95 points at the game and you know speaker was asked. What what it felt Kevin Durant is he's getting ready it'd return. Woody Allen what you wanted to do. And he said focus on re the defense. Which I thought was interesting and it's deep currents that well. It's all about rebounding in defense in the post season the offered to find its way. But he doesn't want bad habits of the team overly focused on the opposite side. As expertise to Iran. He feels like Iran could fall out of bed and get twenty points regardless of the optics the warriors are rotted. He wants to keep the game plans simple limit the turnovers. Yet at defense have been rebounding focus of the ran everything else to fall to play. So I think that makes sense and it. One of the things we've talked about the rare all season about is his ability to score points without any plays being called for a his ability to score 20/20 five points. Just in the natural flow of the game because he's a score. He's gonna get to the line because he attacks the basket he's gonna get out on the break a little bit. To get some buckets there is gonna hit a couple three quarters couple mid range you look at the box score at the end of the game. He's got 25 points in your think it wow I don't really remember him getting 25 points they just seem to come. So to me it makes perfect sense to tell the rant. Focus on everything but scoring because that's the thing you do best that's the thing that. You do most naturally. And I expect Iran to do that anyway even without any prodding. For Steve Kerr just because. He's been on the bench watch in all these games she sees how everything's clicking. Any player who's hurt or hasn't been playing and while the rest of his team is collected. Trust me you come back and you wanna feeding you don't wanna you don't wanna rock the boat and I expect Kevin Durant will be the same way. The one question that lingers more than outdoor Brantley and it. Is we don't he's getting it and it's Eddie's gonna get a lot of minutes once the playoffs start next week and the question is. Who's not going to be playing it as much because Kevin Durant is going to be playing. And I think a lot of that news Matt Barnes Patrick McCaw and maybe even a little bit Ian Clark. How many minutes left the divide between those who re on it night in night out basis. And I thought it was interesting because. It's deeper each. He compared that bar extremely fifth starter in Major League Baseball he says that god can eat up innings orient. If you need to he's not gonna win a Cy Young but he can eat up innings. And easy guide you hit it a lot. Or you can skip him in the rotation it's actually. And he'll be ready for the next indeed about not it was an interesting analogy I think artists don't get the most run. Of the three when you add on Clark in. But I think they all the different things because I was gonna see his minutes go way I think Clark it's going to be you're gonna need. Here at air for an office that they use him Bartel. Away maybe 34 spot when somebody's in trouble or they need a little bit. Toughness. Which JT you're baseball man. What sometimes happens to the fifth starter in the post season. He got that bad exactly and that's a possibility I think with Matt or eight days when it's a blowout Jack and you lose it and you need to. Now we're gonna say everybody but the next game because the next game war war. Exactly right and I think Barnes. It's possible that could happen with Matt Barnes. Because. The minutes it sure India up playoff rotations get a little tighter. And he's gonna go with dollar first. And I think because it would Ellis played the way the last 68 weeks. He's not going to be afraid of both big with solid minutes up. Maybe more than we've seen. In the last year to particular because in the playoffs they're now back to backs I always get it there David did you is not exact. Have blades and it's almost like going back to the baseball analogy it's almost like. When you're gonna have. You gave it an off day we you can use your closer to any. It hit it in the game before me off because right now you're gonna get the off day it's not a matter of you're worried about the next day. Exactly exactly. So it's going to be interesting to see. How Steve Kerr handles the minutes. In the post season. You know there's another scenario here. That I think it's possible. And that is everything's gonna stay the same. In the postseason because. They've ordered us he has had a career which the warriors. Are as solid in the post season as they are in the regular season. And maybe the words can go about whether the title without having to extend their big guys more than 35 minutes and that's with Steve Kerr would like to do. Probably more than anything is is he. We always talk about how Steve Kerr thinks big picture big picture big picture. I wonder if our hitters and think that. You know what governor tried to do a little bit this year the post season is Gideon Clarkson minutes to get my boss of minutes. And gets looney submitted to be healthy maybe get James Michael back at you got idol itself the little. Got to see what by the same token. Iguodala might not be back Livingston might not be back so you wanna start getting your young players playoff experience and it didn't get. Then you can spoon feed him some minutes in the first and second round. By all means I would say go ahead and do it. John tickets and that's die bets is that warriors beyond the numbers podcasts for 95 point seven game. Yeah I think it's gonna be interesting because I want to go back to last. Post season. And I think Steve Kerr he he received a little bit of criticism. For maybe one in the pinch that little too much. In the playoffs and trusting. Some of the guys that you mention whether it would be mark most. Too much whether he'll Linux he Lira votes they eat too much thought back glad you're so I think it's going to be interesting to see. This stick with that belief that those guys especially early. It's probably not and a that the outcome win or lose as far as the series goes to get him confidence. Or is he gonna tighten it up a little bit. That's where haven't I I like Barnes. Actually helps. Steve Kerr a lot because if you're looking at why enact a guy. Planet at its playoff experience. Is a better option Atlantic it doesn't aptly enough experience or maybe you don't fully trust. No I think that's a legitimate point. I got a goalie Steve Hurst and try to. Play the first round maybe part to the second. Like it is in normal regular season game. The question is how. Are challenged they got to be against Denver or against Portland. If the warriors come into ORACLE Arena take a 20 lead in the series. You don't want. Then you might be able to relax a little bit in game three your game war. Steve Hurst never gonna say that. But. The fact of the matter is the warriors. In the post season still have wiggle room because. Beating the warriors four times is not easy if the warriors were to throw a game away just kicking game blow of a game. In game water to. That's not gonna decide this series. You got to beat a four times. And so. It's the person at a place of the young guys and possibly game. I don't even think that's the end of the world with its a game early in a series. Yeah I game three I mean I. A big. You know you may think your game four yeah argue for your up media re you know if you're familiar come and all the right at that's probably more likely than game three because game three. You're you're giving the opposition legitimate life. If you're losing that game. I got tickets and that's not that are beyond the numbers podcast. You you caught me there when he said that about the the playoffs and a team here at a game there. Because I have bought as the warriors at this thirteen game winning streak as we speak here for the pelicans game. Aides Steve Kurt not concerned about wins or losses the final three games but what's the warriors went offering. And they go into the playoffs with a a sixteen game winning streak I don't think that factors in at all. But do you think they'll be sent conversation. And at what point would there be conversation about the warriors that actually. Run a Britney. 444. At what point do you think that. It would be like you all this and that went well you think that it's you know it's got to be out. After getting here but. Talked about that last year. There were some people who thought the warriors were gonna. Run the table last year what do they do they ended up losing nine games I believe they lost this many games out in the playoffs as they did in the regular season right. Exactly right it would fifteen and nine after gone 73 and yes and so. The warrior mindset. Is really championship mindset. And I hear what you're saying about going in the post season was sixteen straight wins. It's sealed the one airline. Though if you wanna do that my little extra pressure on India. Or everything's going right in the playoffs leading up to the laughs and you wonder what's gonna happen maybe in the playoffs. But I also think the warriors have a side of them that kind of says bring it all. We're not gonna give up many games we're trying to win every single game we play we're gonna try to have a put an exclamation point on a historic run here so I don't necessarily think they care. Oh now. Whether they go in with a sixteen game winning streak but I think they're gonna. I mean I think they're gonna win tonight against the pelicans. Addicted jazz games could be that you think is it looks like the jazz are gonna sell the play for. Police the last game of the year they're going to be overthrow the uniforms out beat the Los Angeles Lakers. So they may very well go into the post season with a sixteen game winning streak and look I. I don't think that that the sixty games streak or whatever that street could become in the playoffs. Is going to be a factor I don't think the warriors are trying to extend that streak purse today. I just think it's fascinating. Once if that you cannot run let's say at 68 in a row in the playoffs. That could become it's own way. I don't think sixty knows realistic. Although I'll throw this one yet and I admit that a year earlier in the week getting when we were just texted back and forth put this team go through the entire post season. Without playing 186. I think that's possible. I do think that's possible at Essex Heidi I've 555. Now. I wouldn't bet on. I wouldn't put money down on the atlas got some really favorable laws. What I think it's possible. It really alive so much of it comes down to where Cleveland is when the final roll around and I still anticipate Cleveland going to be there when it's all said and done. And the spurs beat the warriors twice. Navy. And the rockets. Hit me baby I think if they. If they can come in here maybe it's the old one. The reason negate whatever they did that first game they can do that out again. You know maybe they can do it. But I I do think we have to be. Mindful of what happened last year as much as it looks like the warriors are a lock this year. It looked like they were all locked last year and you never know you just never know one little injury one twisted ankle one. Twist the fate. And the next thing you know you're not the favorites. All the you know here's the other thing to radio as they can. The playoffs. Yes there there's. For best of seven series. But the ups in their entirety. Take more than two months now so we have to make sure. That you don't. Go all out in the first. First two or three weeks it really is. Almost another regular season unto itself. And you almost half the pace yourself in the playoffs or maybe not pace yourself this is what we talked about a lot with UB and bon Temps. You just wanna win as fast as you can win get off we had advance people waiting again you know an equal. The goal is always. And make sure. A series doesn't go beyond five right ID you got the wiggle room to me when you're on the warriors position as the favorite in this series. And they're gonna be favored in every series with home court advantage as far as they go. You wanna win the first two at home. You wanna go split on the road at worse. And it come back for game five that you want in this series or articulate and for future anyway the game for truth whether series is over night and day. In the game five. I think that's the goal in every series and I think that it is long as you do that sure you're up 30 you wanna ended. Because anything can happen in game five injury wiser. Technical foul wise or suspected what we've seen how that goes with road warriors we saw last season. But I think you're right you wanted to strike get it done. It gave five at the fairy. Hours well and you know one thing that. It's been all quiet on the dream on fraud. The past couple weeks. He's got thirteen technical fouls he's obviously gonna make it through the regular season without getting suspended. I was gonna be in the playoffs the games are more intense in the playoffs. There's more focus. At three in the next two games. I mean he would then it. What would happen and what he missed the first yeah well now I guess there's no carry over to the playoffs but you can carry over the next you know he could I I there's. That he get let's say it's acted. In the game against Alan okay. An eighty and eighty that would be fifty right it's let's get to one technical in the game Monday it's the cats. Well he'd have to sit out the game against the lakers right what I'm talking about it there is no stereo review that lets it gets technical technical technical. Then my understanding is there is no scenario. Real OC. It's not a freebie. Well then they alive. I mean even if I were him I would fourteen I get thrown that last game. Why not make a couple of other you aren't although it is an anacostia I'd I'd just it is gonna I he's gonna who's gonna close line Luke Walton. On the on the on the sideline. You know it's always good for a close line out there. Nick young's well funded well right now. But that's the other thing so the warriors got a re what's the games get yet higher stakes in in the in the emotion. Gets up there and that's another thing JD addicts important. Why the warriors maybe specifically wanna video game get out a series is early so that. I don't think it'll usually ride right. Warriors down the numbers podcast got tickets and that's not some of the match ups potentially. We don't know who's gonna be eighty as of right now it looks like it's going to be Portland although. I still have this weird about the blazers that it's not locked. Talents along with Dan because they've had a season full of look like they were going to be OK and just when you think they're going to be okay. They would blow a hugely taken that loss and adequately another loss and then he had big trouble and it's Ike is. Feel real secure. Completely. If you're the Portland trailblazers they need. Two of six games to go their way between their three remaining. And that created the Denver Nuggets never made it probably gonna want to be at Portland. What do you think give. That series one way or the other ethnic you know what what odds do you yet let's say the blazers of get on this thing in the last three games. It'll might call it yak in just because they're cute she's out and they are playing a little bit. In turn to be an undermanned. And whatnot. I wanna see the warriors play the Portland trailblazers. For two reasons one is Portland got a little bit of experience. So that. Would make for a better first round match up I think in Denver. Obviously hasn't been in the postseason and awhile and the second thing is publishing their pitch. And noticing circuit play for the Portland trailblazers. To see if he makes them deservedly different for the team we saw with with globally. Because the team we saw with wobbly was fun exciting but I never really got the saints they were gonna be able to it. Take the warriors the lead to a series. If Dirk Pitt shows that he is a big boy skilled talented. You play maybe like a little like a Marc Gasol. You know what then that's series becomes more accepting of all about the series created that well. I have as well and the one thing orchid has done that surprised the heck out of me as defense if prices I didn't think he hit the rim protector I didn't think he did the ID B a wars. On that is but in his time with the blazers. He as being and that's been a waiting he's really impacted. Have been a positive way when you start to look at some of the other potential matchups. As far as the second round goes it's going to be Utah. Or the clippers. Those teams are gonna face each other. It's just a matter of who's gonna have home court. Favorite series and its outlook in similar fashion even thought I and the clippers at all exiting the series it's built for them that way. Well the clippers have owned the jazz over the past few years. I think that to me is the most intriguing series I like that series even you always talk about experience and don't have that. I like this series more than Oklahoma City Houston even though that's going to be a fun to watch. Excuse me this is the clippers last stand. I think we all know that. And it's going to be interesting to see if they can give it one last go or whether they innocence fold. Because. They have not lived up to the expectations and hype that everybody thought. Was going to be the case three years ago when they knocked off the Golden State Warriors. And I would like to see the clippers play the warriors in the second round. Because it'll finish that hole it'll finish the rivalry off is what it what I mean and if they get the warriors win it all by the clippers they're going to be a different team next year that thing is over if that clippers can sell now. Beat the Golden State Warriors. I guess I was wrong about this new arrival would be over I guess the rivalry would be. Re started up again but it's just so hard for me to see the clippers went in four games over the warriors unless the warriors get an injury or somebody gets banged up. Law that was what I was gonna ask you it is. Was it ever really a rivalry. Because I think it was what the color eyes it was the clippers knock them off by thought it was. And in first round and did it ever Adam quite that sent us which is unfortunate but the warriors have dominated. They had they had equipment the bully beat the warriors one. Since that playoff series ride was in December of 2004 to write this open. Legitimately. To a half years. Since the clippers have even beat them. The warriors. I mean you're absolutely right. And lately it feels like the word of almost toyed with Los Angeles. They feel like they can win it. So easily against them it almost feels like sometimes the warriors they all they really have to do is put a quarter a good basketball together. To beat the clippers the other thing is they beat the clippers every which way. This Sunday they've come back against them they blow them out they've won close games they've rallied late they've done at all and so. If that. If anything I say a lot if the clippers are to beat the warriors I want to see how that happens because we haven't even gotten a glimpse of it the last. Years I look at it the other side of the bracket. A you've got San Antonio and Houston are lined up if faced each other in the second round but that's assuming. That the rockets get past. Oklahoma City in what I think is the most intriguing for France series in the Western Conference. And Memphis and San Antonio the spurs have dominated at its recently when they played in the post season. I actually think Memphis to give them a hard time you watch. The way summit there had had gained support spurts of wanna write it out at big east games for this birds. Although the grizzlies are banged up and not playing well again at the end of this season itself as far as I think only about one. But the series I wanna see and everybody wants to see it's hard against Westbrook and that. Recent slide. I think Houston is gonna win that series. I think what's the playoffs come Oklahoma city's that a little bit of trouble because they're so one dimensional. I'm not taking anything away from our Wessels Russell Westbrook has done regular season has been. Beyond belief but I think in the post season. When you go up against the Oklahoma City. Under 456 games in a row and how much as the game plan change. They're gonna do it they're gonna do. And all you have to do as a team player in the Oklahoma City Dodgers try to devise different ways to slow down Westbrook it's really as simple as that. Again not take anything away from Westbrook but I think in the playoffs. They're going to be less. Scary team and they were in the regular season. What do you think at San Antonio and Houston if they face each other kids I think that's an interest series the spurs have been able to be used in a couple of times. But the rockets actually let for a good portion of a couple of those eight. It's going to be an interesting series. I think any time he's been places series it's interesting because. They they do something you know on the one hand I don't not crazy about. The way to Oklahoma City Thunder play but put the ball to Westbrook dance time and time again. Houston does a lot of the same thing that put the ball hard at the differences that Houston style is more nailed down they. Westbrook when he goes to the hole. He's looked in to score or he's looking to kicked out the three point shooters and the rockets. Nights when they can beat you from the three point line that's what makes the rockets scary to me. Oklahoma city's not gonna beat you from beyond the arc but certainly not going to be from beyond the arc in the course of a seven game series Houston. We saw them coming in here and beat the Golden State Warriors on a night when Ryan Anderson was making threes. And that's what would scare me if you're the Golden State Warriors is the fact that. Yeah you might play game were heartened is getting calls. You might play gay were heartened knocking down some threes at finding three point shooters. It's not hard to imagine the rockets beat the Golden State Warriors in a gamer to. And that's why they they're they seem that's going to be. The one that I think gives the word the most trouble at that series comes. Yeah I hear that sound it's gonna get a lot of air ORACLE Arena why. Kevin doing. Making the flaw. With Golden State Warriors. Kevin Durant come back more reacted that. In our next. Episode podcast. Following our prior to beat the game against the Utah Jazz how Kevin Durant look. John tickets and that's not that's beyond the numbers podcast. We'll let you down the line at night by seven the game.