While the Warriors have floundered to a mediocre 32-30 record this season, they have remained confident in their chances to repeat as NBA champions.
Golden State hasn’t played to a championship level this year, but injuries have a lot to do with that. It is the Warriors’ constant belief that if they enter the NBA playoffs with everyone healthy, they are the favorites to win it all, no matter their seed.
With their 123-105 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday at Chase Center, the Warriors jumped from the seventh seed to the fifth seed in the Western Conference. They now have won three games in a row and appear to be turning a corner with Steph Curry’s return imminent.
After the game, Klay Thompson joined Bonta Hill, Chris Mullin and Festus Ezeli on NBC Sports Bay Area’s “Warriors Postgame Live” and was asked about the momentum the team is building.
“I feel it, yeah,” Thompson said. “We all feel it. With 20 games left, it’s such a golden opportunity for us to increase our seeding, just get in a great rhythm and these role [players] are getting such great experience right now, it’s going to pay off huge come playoff time.
“And I promise you this, when we’re healthy, no one wants to see us in the postseason. I promise you that.”
Since 2015, when Thompson, Curry and Draymond Green start every game of a playoff series, the Warriors are 17-0 in those series, including wins over the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics last year en route to the 2022 NBA title.
The Warriors know the clock is ticking on their championship window, but as long as their core three are in their prime, the goal will never change.
“We expect to win a championship while we’re here,” Thompson said. “Everything else is falling short. That’s a special, privileged position to be in. Not many franchises can wholeheartedly say that.”
The Warriors have 20 regular-season games to build good habits heading into the playoffs. If they do, and they are fully healthy, they will be a tough team to knock out.
Thompson and the rest of the NBA knows it.