The Golden State Warriors seem pretty confident that they’re going to bounce back from their disastrous game 2 against the Houston Rockets.
Key players have spoken about their need to play better and their belief that the team will have a successful game 3 performance.
Chris Haynes of ESPN has a fascinating story that focuses on the comments made regarding that matter by players like Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
It’s fair to say that Green is the heart and soul of this team and that his words carry a lot of weight with his fellow teammates.
He said that the team plays at its best when they’re threatened and that they felt less of an urgency in game 2 following their game 1 win.
With the type of success the Warriors have experienced, it’s not often that they’re put in a position where they’re legitimately threatened.
Heading to Oakland with a series against the team with the best regular season record in the NBA tied 1-1, this certainly qualifies as a precarious situation.
In previous years, the Warriors have generally responded strongly when a playoff opponent puts them in a corner, save the NBA Finals debacle against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.
Thompson voiced a commitment to his belief that the Warriors play with more hustle and urgency when they feel especially challenged. Thompson had a poor shooting performance in game 2 and has made a guarantee that he will play better in game 3.
The Warriors have won 15 straight home playoff games. They haven’t lost a postseason game at Oracle Arena since game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
To say this game 3 is a true “must win” for the Warriors might be too dramatic, although it would definitely put them in a difficult position if they lose.
If the most they could secure was a 2-2 series tie heading back to game 5 in Houston, they’d be presented with a steep hill to climb for another NBA Finals appearance.
The Warriors would obviously be best served by winning these next two games on their home court, and they need big performances from their stars.
If they lose both, it’s not necessary to go in depth about the calamity that would be having to overcome a 3-1 deficit by winning both remaining road games in Houston.
Even 2-2 would be stressful with essentially the series becoming a best-of-three with a possible two of those games being in Houston.
How the Warriors play in this game 3 is going to be a strong indicator of this team’s fortunes going forward. Green says that this team plays best when threatened, and while there are numerous pieces of past evidence revealing that to be the case, it’s time to prove it once again.
This is by far the biggest predicament this Warriors squad has found themselves in so far this 2018 postseason. Game 3 offers the type of drama basketball fans crave. The Warriors are going to look to make their game 2 loss seem like ancient history.