Tying a Bow on Warriors Regular Season; Handicapping Their Path to NBA Championship

Matt Steinmetz
Thursday, April 13th

JD and Steiny look back on Warriors 2016-17 season and breakdown their most likely path to an NBA championship.


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

I just tickets and that's not Mets are beyond the numbers podcasts for 95 point seven of the game it's become to view from the regular season finale the warriors and the lakers. Not much going on and I would note to remind greener on jury would dollar probably going to be a similar type game. To the one against the jazz where the warriors starters are gonna play a whole lot of minutes and are gonna play a lot. If that all down the stretch that won't turn our attention forward to the playoffs. For this episode of the podcast but also back toward the regular season edit and Matt the other warriors. Beginning in doubt in their mid to high sixties. In terms of victories. What maybe surprised you about this season. He knew where their great three point shooting and maybe even build off last year shooting better but I can realize in the that's really tough to do with how high they shoot in the first place. In terms of going as expected. She's pretty much is gone. As expected in the first couple months were about degrading to rent. Then after derail it got integrated they worried. Kind of about getting their whole team on the same page. During a thing got hurt they learned to play without it now there readjusting. I just think during the great spot they're healthy of the post season there well rested and I still think they have a chip on their shoulder from losing it last year. Yeah I think they've they've managed. Expectations. And high pretty well because adding that. May have gotten away from him because of the the NBA record in wins in a year ago it chasing dad that became a huge. Story very early on in the season because the burgers one. 24 straight to start the season and it anytime you do that. It's gonna follow you the rest of the way and it followed them from. Opening night in late October all the way it's held Father's Day. In June when they played game seven of the finals I think the warriors did a nice job of tempering all that. Even with Kevin Durant. And even some of the games they lost I think helped them at a certain way because for the most part they never really had. They never really had that. 1516. And a winning streak there dating get out of hand they went 67 Euro and they lose one when he. And I editor they'd lose one you know they did have multiple ten plus game winning streaks in the one that just ended. Against the jazz the fourteen gamer on Monday but that the warriors sat out. Immediately it said. We're not into records this year or did it get ready for the playoffs. And I just think this season. The way at all played out it played into that and there wasn't a lot of added drama here or there like maybe there was a year ago. While you wonder if that happened. On accident or kind of on purpose. Because the one thing you're right about JT is that they never really won enough. To make you say hey they're on pace to do this again. There were always behind that 73 win place and never really cared about it always seemed to lose a game here there. That made it apparent that they weren't gonna get that 73 wins. And then we'll get those 73 wins. Think that's obvious to so yeah I thought Steve Kerr made it clear how he was gonna coach this season. It was almost as though he wasn't. That concern with particular wins or losses that he just wanted them to play. Good basketball. Win the games they could win and let the chips fall where they men's teams got enough talent and if everybody stay relatively healthy they're gonna win sixty plus anyway. And you look at the way it played out it gone back to march today the number one seed in the west appeared to be. Eight here are to be in jeopardy and yet we looked back down the final week of the season at the warriors even. Tempering some of that answer that going for the records in those things in the streets they still wound up with the best record in the NBA with a week to spare. Yeah and everybody was worried after they sat everybody against San Antonio. Earlier in the season and then they follow that up with a long win streak their longest win streak of the season. So I think right now they're exactly where they wanna be they're playing an opponent who. They can. Handle where they have handled in the past. And now I think everybody's got to be feeling pretty good about things. John tickets and that's not that's beyond the numbers podcast for 95 point seven gamers were wrap it up the warriors seized it here prior to. Game 82 it start to look ahead toward. The playoffs in the match up against the Portland trailblazers. Do you think the warriors. In BP is this year because I I've got guys in mind. And I'm curious what what your take is it yet to pick a warriors in the Lee why it would be. Highest on the list. But what Hoosier guy. I mean that's a good question it's one of those things that if you really think about it you can't go wrong but they can anyone of their four players but I get the sense. Just by the way you've asked me that question that you have a player in mind I think I know your player is by the way you've asked the question. So I'm ready go with its right mind marine. I'm not picking curry because I don't think he was. At the top of his game for the first two months of the season I'm not taken during it because he missed five or six weeks. That leaves Klay Thompson Dray mind green I think you're guy's going to be Klay Thompson. Because I think you're gonna say that. Offensively and defense team defensively was the most consistent player this season. So I'm gonna allow you to have play time outs and I'll take tray of mine Karine because. I just think he's the one player out of those four that does different things and so. These kind of valuable because she's the one who rebounds. Gets the elections defense in the front court. Blocked shots does all the dirty work but. It could be any one of those four but I would picture a Marguerite. Well it you actually you over thought the situation because I I was gonna featuring Michael really mattered what you ate for like Thompson because he was the most consistent. And there really is a case to be April 4 when you've got to grant it likely. Up until the point where he got hurt probably would have been there you guys step Currie who from January. Blade it and in the U laughable. Nearly a query was the last few years not quite. Level terms at the three point shooting but doing everything else I think he reached that pinnacle it especially during the fourteen game winning streak. Without Kevin Durant. I think drain on Greenville was the guy that initially sacrificed themselves. And still had. All equally. You know quite talented that he wasn't gonna sacrifice. Anything. And he didn't sacrifice city thing. But if you look at these individual seasons. And you factor out there grant aid because of injury. Might not some idea of most consisted warriors players. A bong bong that for. But that might actually with the dream on dream because he. They be at his best offensive season. He sacrificed the most likely it terms of bop its glory. Maybe not be as much at the playmaker and he's been in the past and half court offense because they have the rant but still. Finding different ways to use the transition. Team like it was a lot more he grabbed the rebound and going. And fighting assists in that manner as opposed it the last couple years where. There was a lot court agreed wouldn't be that playmaker with the current state. That victory away so it's actually unanimous. On on the pod cast it favorite during a mockery. Like a set out that you go wrong with any of the forty. You could make it pays for any of the four really depending on what your point of emphasis theirs. John tickets and Epstein it's beyond the numbers podcast for 957 the game but let's look ahead now toward the playoffs and the warriors pack here. As things get Roland it got to face the Portland trailblazers. In the first round and whether or not circuits can come back and how effective and or it can be I think. That's the biggest. Question market terms its impact in this series today at the market comes back. I think the blazers have an outside chance. Same waiting game. If he doesn't come back I think they have almost no chance. Of winning two games in this series and we'd be looking at either a warrior sweep Moret. 41 warriors and advancement into the second round. Yeah the more I think about it the more I'm not sure what differences if any circuit is gonna make. Just because the warriors right now to me look like a fine tuned machine. And if you look at what Portland strengths are. Obviously it's their backcourt of McCollum and Willard with the warriors have found a way to outplay that backcourt. And the reason they've been able now play that back quarters because Klay Thompson and invariably. And limit one of those two players. Depending on the one he guards took the warriors are gonna win the backcourt matchup. And I think the series is essentially over because who's gonna defend the ranch. Who's going to score off to write mine marine and I think the warriors this year. Are gonna make a conscious effort to try to wrap series is up as fast as they possibly can and that they didn't do it last year. But I think if you ask the warriors the seven game Western Conference final. Had something to do with a reason they lost in the NBA finals the Cleveland. That's I think they're going into this post season with a goal of trying to play as few games as possible on the way to a title. I think the warriors can rudner it's too I mean that's the one thing. If they go small state like David West are drain on green at the center position. Ed and airfare pitch to be able to run want them I'm not sure that he can stay in that in the game consistently. And and play at that level. You know physically especially coming off this enemy he's a big guy. Right and you know we talked about Iran mean it it's like it's waiting there it's coming back potentially from. I'd knee injury wow and I beat that could limit. Some of the effectiveness that you can have this series I like the warriors. In no more than five games in this theories. It's not defeated team Eto'o and they get a season so maybe Portland gets run. But I think there's also a respect level that the warriors snapped. For the blazers I think it no other clearly the better team but I also think based on the fact if Portland. And for the playoffs last year. You're not gonna see the warriors best and around in this theory at all and typically what they don't mess around. Things end relatively quickly. Yeah and I think the key series is going to be the one after that. They gonna play utes are they gonna play the clippers. And in a way I'm not sure that there's much of a difference. Between those two opponents of the reason I say that. Is because I think they're gonna get big time efforts from either team. I think you talk is equipped to play the physically. I think you toss equipped to slow down. Acute saws equipped to muck up the game a little bit and there and to extract a pound of flesh if you will. Again it's a Golden State Warriors and I. Think the same about the LA clippers. I know the LA clippers have lost ten straight times in the warriors. But I think that this is the window. That the clippers and it's closing. I don't think they're gone down without a fight I think they're gonna go down swinging and I think they're gonna. If even if they get swept I think they're gonna they're gonna take a real hard approach against the Golden State Warriors the gonna realize they have nothing to lose. And I think the second round series in a way it's gonna go a long way toward dictating. How successful warriors are the most of these well. And I I'd like to see the warriors played it adds to be honest I think that's a more intriguing series just because we haven't really seen those two teams play. Whenever but he's healthy very much these last couple years in an especially this year that you saw. Elevated themselves to a fifty win now team. From a team that didn't even make the playoffs these last few years to date they've been really it. Yeah they showed signs. In any game that meant nothing for the warriors that that they can do some things that might bother them. I think we know how the clippers warriors series is gonna point out eyes of that series and he is last intriguing now that being said that. I think the clippers are gonna be that you not ads in the first round I'm really you don't see them. Going out in the first round whatever adding that they have on the line in terms of their future. So you couple that with the fact that they've dominated Utah head to head. For the most part the last few years for whatever reason the clippers have kind of had their number. I think we're gonna a gutsy in the clippers warriors played in the post season for the first time since 2004 need. And the clippers went more than one game against the warriors while they haven't won a single game since Christmas 2014. So it's hard for me to say. That the clippers would be able to extend that series beyond five games either I just make the warriors. Are engaged dead. To the fullest extent. When they play the clippers and I just I think the clippers haven't effort form but the warriors still that soul like we're used to seeing him do. Yep it's virtually impossible to think that the clippers are gonna win four games against the warriors when the wars have beat them. Then in a row I I hear you there. John tickets and that's dying minutes. Are beyond the numbers not desperate ID five point seven became a way people think it'll be the clippers in the warriors in the second round. Did you go to the other side of the bracket. And the favorites. Are clearly San Antonio the seed in the rockets that three C. I guess we'll start this way it. Do you see any way where Oklahoma City or and this. Could be either San Antonio. Or the Houston Rockets to upset that bottom half of the bracket. But it's possible Oklahoma City could beat them the Houston Rockets. A wooden bat autumn. But Westbrook the kind of player who does a great series. Gets his role players involved they could beat the Houston Rockets. I don't think they've Oklahoma City Thunder can beat the spurs and I don't think the Memphis Grizzlies are going to be the spurs. But I do think that if Houston winds up player was virtues that'll beat the spurs. Solve. I don't know the warriors prefer. In the Western Conference finals assuming they get there whether it's Houston or whether it's San Antonio. I have a hunch the wars rather play Houston. Just because San Antonio is still. Extremely well coached. And it. Their that the type the team that you have to dot your I's and cross your t.'s against. And I think Houston is a team that the warriors feel like if they play the way they need to play. They're gonna be able to beat Houston. And I I think. I agree that you I think Oklahoma City got a shot against Houston and I do think Houston what have a shot at its San Antonio. If they wind up played at the center around similar similarly to Oklahoma City knock outs and it's I think the warriors would rather face Houston. You know the the rockets did beat the warriors in the game here at December. A double overtime game. But that's the only when the rockets have had against the warriors really of consequence it once in the playoffs last year obviously but that series. The warriors at under control the warriors swept them. Going back to the regular season the previous year and the rockets' one 30 game. In the Western Conference finals of the warriors have won every game they needed it win. Against the rockets in this heat or air this is the best rockets team. That the warriors we'll see if they do it back the event and conference final there's no doubt about that to me. I just looked it. I look at it and I think if the spurs won the warriors in the conference final the spurs are going to be plain wild. Now the that the spurs went out the first twenty years ago they went out the second round last year. If they make it through those first few rounds it's gonna be because they're playing that type of basketball. To where they're gonna be a legitimate threat to the Golden State Warriors I think. It's still Popovich. It's still a team that's. And intelligent team and while I would favor the warriors in either series. And I would favor of even against the spurs because I don't think the spurs can it score enough against the warriors. I think. The warriors would rather face Houston team that you could say they'd been borderline in their heads last three years. That's fair Wu what do you think about the finals. The finals it's interstate because if you ask me even a week ago what's Boston it now though. Cavs it gone into Boston at one. I would have thought I'd it's probably gonna be Cleveland and I'm 90% sure it's going to be Cleveland I'm sure it's gonna be Cleveland anymore. I'm really not and I am interested to see how it shakes out because the Celtics are likely to get the ones eat now. The cavaliers are probably get a face to Iran now. In the second round of the playoffs today they were a handful last year and I think you can make a case that Toronto and it bock. Is better. Then they were a year ago and you could make the case that the cavs are not as good or more flawed I don't know exactly how to characterize it maybe not it's. If they games I just think that that ads are gonna put themselves in a spot where they're gonna have to work a lot harder. That people thought they were going to have to just to get back to a finals. Which is why the warriors are gonna beat him in my mind if they'd got faith in them. Know what to me of that four in the east now because I can see Boston we've yet to Iran or Washington. If that fell out way Ike it's the the cavaliers haven't attempt on the Toronto. I could see why she did beat Boston and a a lot of different combinations. I see not ending up with Cleveland play in the warriors. I think Cleveland's gonna get there. But I don't think they're gonna have a chance against the warriors. I still don't think peace is very good I think Cleveland got more talent than anybody in that conference. And I think they're going to be able to get to the NBA finals. On the back of ire of carrier ring LeBron James. Now what happens in the NBA finals. I'm not sure but I do. Think that Cleveland got some issues but there's no way that they've had the last five weeks like they've got the last five weeks and they don't have a problem. But I don't think they're very good defensively right now feels like there's something going all when LeBron James and how much you trust his teammates. They seem to be a team that's maybe gotten a little away from their identity. Defensively. You know trading off for scoring points and I don't think that's the way to go about beat the warriors. So I don't think they're gonna be able to beat the warriors I really do see the warriors. Assuming there are no injuries. In this post season of significance. I think the warriors are headed to their second title in three years and I think they're gonna make it. I think they're gonna finish it off and fewer games than they did two years ago when they lost five total games like they're gonna lose four or fewer. While I gave what they play game six and I asked did that a couple of days ago but what yet they. Do you think there'll be any any series that goes six games. Maybe one maybe one yeah maybe one maybe the Western Conference finals or maybe Cleveland you've got to for us we. A couple of 40 one's. It may be wonderful song like that someone like maybe it's earlier or for one's something like that. But I just hits the team. I just it's it's in beat the warriors. Three or four times deny the truth and look at it out as to shake it out Boston as a hugely so Boston's gonna wind up with a one seat there up. By twenty with few minutes ago sell air and it beat the number one seed I think they're vulnerable. Like I say leave it to a team. Like the Washington Wizards who would be the foresee sues the eighth in that is on Eastern Conference well right now it looks like Chicago. Chicago has a big lead over Brooklyn they control their own destiny for one of the spots and a look at it Indiana right now. On the scoreboard because they needed a win in the air up. Nine with six minutes to go so all that holds true of the army the and it Chicago would be in Miami would wind up now. I don't think Boston's gonna be able to get all the way to the finals. Another well coached but I just don't think their talent is on par. With the wizards or even with Toronto. I think the one of those teams that benefits. From not having to play teams consecutively in the puck in the regular season. I think what you star player than 345. Times. You're gonna be able to knock them off the series I wouldn't be surprised if I wouldn't be surprised if Boston doesn't make it to the Eastern Conference finals I think they're gonna win one round and then they're gonna lose to either who Toronto or Washington. It looks like it would be Washington but then you look at it and the Washington would be the fourth seed so they were about Washington's got to face Atlanta. And it and I'm not gonna and it be on the Atlantic we watch and be off to be perfectly honest. I just think good. I don't like what land on the way I don't either but it went on the way. Though and that's that's the other thing you could see Milwaukee winning I don't know what I think there in six probably gonna get Toronto OK you could see. That seat waiting sow the seed in the east of me is less important because there's more parity. And it's possible to see one of the top four teams get knocked off in the first round though I don't think it over Cleveland or Boston. All right John tickets and that's dime that's our warriors beyond the numbers pod cast the final episode. In the books for the regular season it will not be again down the line in the playoffs.