The Golden State Warriors are just one win away from their fourth championship in eight years, but they know that defeating the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night will be their biggest challenge of the season.
“We know [the Celtics are] I’m going to play with a sense of desperation,” Warriors defenseman Klay Thompson said Wednesday. via ESPN. “So it will take the best effort we’ve put in all year to match or exceed that.”
The required level of effort does not escape the attention of the rest of the Warriors. “The clinch is probably the hardest game you will ever play,” added veteran striker Andre Iguodala.
While the job will not be easy, the Warriors have experience as their core Steph Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Kevon Looney and coach Steve Kerr played in five straight Finals from 2015 to 2019. That experience is something the Celtics don’t have; none of their players have had experience in the finals so far.
“You just get what nerves are like,” Curry said of the possibility of a closure. “We understand the specifics of how we need to approach the game from a physical point of view, adjust our game plan from game 5 to game 6, understand what the building will look like, what kind of energy we are preparing for it.”
As a team, the Warriors are doing everything they can to seize the moment, especially guys playing in their first Finals.
“I’m excited, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.” – Andrew Wiggins said about the scope of the game 6. “Something that I’ve been working hard on, that this whole team has been working hard on, so I’m excited.” However, the idea of seizing the moment is not limited to guys who have never been to a final before, because those who have been there before realize how special this opportunity is – and that the return trip is never promised. .
“At the end of the day, once you get there, you just have to be in the moment,” Curry said. “You should be present as long as possible without worrying about the consequences of victory or defeat. The only opportunity you have is these 48 minutes. The best advice I can give to anyone in this situation is because this is going to be the hardest game you’ve probably ever played in your career because of what the stakes are.”
As Curry struggled in Game 5 – he went an uncharacteristic 0-for-9 from long range – the pieces around him activated significantly. Wiggins had his best postseason game with 26 points and 13 rebounds, Thompson found his hit and lost 21 points, and Jordan Poole and Gary Payton II combined for 29 points off the bench. If Golden State receives the same contribution from these players in Game 6, Warriors fans should be ready to drink champagne.
“I feel more focused and confident” coach Steve Kerr said Thursday before the sixth game. “I think our guys are in good shape today.”
At the very least, Golden State seems to be in the right mindset when it comes to the possibility of a closure.