Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr has backed his team to “turn the page” in their stunning NBA Finals opening rate when they tried to square the series against the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
Golden State, cited as the favorite to claim the seventh NBA Championship before the start of the series, was sent off to spin to a stunning defeat in a game on Thursday as the Celtics reversed a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit to take a 1-0 lead.
That rate approach – the Celtics outscored Golden State 40-16 in the last quarter – has left many commentators wondering if the Shellshocked Warriors have suffered a long-term mental breakdown.
Before the series returns to Boston for three and four in San Francisco on Sunday, the Celtics could take possession of the best-of-seven series vice with a two-game win in San Francisco.
Kerr, however, insisted on Saturday that his experienced line-up had already dusted itself off after Thursday’s defeat.
“The value of the experience, the playoff experience, you can really understand the ups and downs of a playoff series,” Kerr said Saturday.
“It’s really important to turn the page one way or the other. You know, if you win and you’re happy and you disappoint your guard, you’re in trouble.
“And if you lose and you’re sorry for yourself, you’re in trouble.
“It’s all about how you react. These guys are the best athletes, the best competitors in the world and a huge part of the competition at the highest level is your mental and emotional outlook.”
Kerr and his coaching staff and players have dug into the finer details of Thursday’s rate and identified a loose outlook throughout the game – rather than just Boston’s epic fourth quarter – as the reason for the defeat.
‘Like a Snowfall’
“I thought we’d be away from ourselves in the first quarter when it came to game planning,” Kerr said. “I think what happened in the first three quarters helped them to make the fourth quarter process go their way.
“The film manages to entertain as well as inform. Some of us were well stretched, and then obviously the fourth quarter was like a blizzard.
“But again, we lower our guard before the game, and it allows the boys to be more comfortable taking shots. And when you get the first few that you see it really well, it makes every shot easier after that. ”
Kerr has already dismissed a suggestion that stars Dreammond Green and Stephen Curry showed signs of complacency after the first game that the loss was an inconsistency.
“Dremond and Steve have now reached the final six times. They’ve seen it all, “Kerr said.” They’ve won the championship. They’ve lost the championship. They’ve broken their heart. They’ve paraded. It’s all part of it.
“So that’s the right mental approach, and one that’s born of experience.”
Defensive Lynchpin Green has already said he pays too little attention to outside “noise” around one of the game’s defeats.
“This is the world we live in – the ClickBet title, who can get the most views, who can say the weirdest things,” Green said Saturday. “It simply came to our notice then.
“Eventually you have to be able to stop the noise because the noise is going to be there. We’ll come out and win tomorrow, everything will be normal. The Warriors are fine.
“They are going to take to the streets. You know they can win a play-off game on the road. “
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