Steve Kerr: Warriors 'Owe' Fans a Strong Finish in Final Oakland Home GamesMarch 7, 2019
Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is concerned his team isn't going to send Oracle Arena out in style before the Warriors move into Chase Center in San Francisco.
Golden State is 23-9 at home in 2018-19. Since winning an NBA title in 2014-15 and launching a dynasty, the Warriors have never lost more than 12 games at Oracle Arena over a single season.
Kerr emphasized how he wants Warriors players to view their final nine home games through a wider lens, per ESPN.com's Nick Friedell:
"Our team dinner that we do every year before camp starts. It's a big part of our theme. And we've let our fans down many times this year at home, particularly on nights that are big ones, against great teams, national TV [games]. So something we've discussed the last two days: What's our purpose? Why are we doing this? I think we owe it to ourselves, we owe it to our fans, and particularly to our fans in Oakland, to give them our best stuff for the coming months."
Golden State is coming off a 128-95 defeat to the Boston Celtics on its home floor. The 33-point margin of defeat was the largest at Oracle Arena under Kerr.
According to the Mercury News' Jeff Faraudo, the Warriors held a team meeting in the aftermath of the embarrassing loss. Draymond Green mentioned to Faraudo how finding a source of motivation in the regular season can be tough for a team that has achieved as much recently as Golden State.
"It's easy to take that mindset again," Green said. "We'll just get to the playoffs, then we'll turn it on. I don't want to live on the edge like that and hopefully the switch flips on. I don't want to do that. We've got to continue to get better and locked in right now."
At 44-20, the Warriors are on pace to have their worst record—a .688 winning percentage—of the Kerr era.
In addition to the general malaise that's bound to set in for a team with three NBA titles in four years, Kevin Durant's impending free agency has cast a big shadow for the team. The DeMarcus Cousins signing hasn't worked out quite as expected, either. According to NBA.com, the team is minus-0.8 per 100 possessions with him on the floor.
Still, the Warriors are the heavy favorites to reign supreme in the NBA this summer, and Green alluded to the general feeling Golden State will be a different team in the postseason.
Kerr's comments not only emphasize the symbolic impact of finishing strong in Oracle Arena, but they also provide the Warriors with a challenge to answer before the playoffs begin.