USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick breaks down what’s next for the Golden State Warriors.

Kevin Love doesn’t see the Cleveland Cavaliers as underdogs, and neither does Steve Kerr.

The Warriors coach, who’s been out since early in the playoffs due to complications from back surgery, was filling the team’s media obligations Monday as acting coach Mike Brown battles the flu.

“They are the champions,” said Kerr. “We’re not. I saw the quote from Kevin Love where he said he was surprised. I’m surprised, too! Like, what the hell is everybody talking about? Are you kidding me?”

Earlier this week Love called it “funny” that the Cavs are being viewed as underdogs.

“At the end of the day, we are defending out title,” Love said. “We’re trying to repeat, which is hard to do. I think we will use it as fuel, we’ll use it as motivation, but the idea of playing into it? It’s tough for me to say that is the case. I don’t feel like we’re underdogs.”

The Cavs have dropped one game this postseason while the Warriors have yet to lose. Cleveland is second in point differential to Golden State (plus-16.3 compared to plus-13.6), and the Warriors are first in opponent field goal percentage with the Cavs third. From playing style to sheer talent, they’re not that dissimilar.

But the entire USA TODAY NBA team picked the Warriors to ultimately win, citing their rest, their motivation from last year’s Finals collapse, and the not-so-small addition of Kevin Durant. By the way, the former MVP is in as good a place as he’s been heading into these Finals.

“They’re a great team, they’re the champs,” Kerr said. “We’re trying to take what they took from us last year.”

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Kerr said it’s unlikely he’d coach Game 1, but he didn’t completely rule out the possibility.

“As of right now, I will not coach Thursday night,” he said. “It’s still up in the air.

“I’m ready, but I’m not ready to coach yet. I’m still feeling a lot of the effects of what I’ve got going on.”

Game 1 is Thursday night at 9 ET.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Michael Singer on Twitter @msinger. 

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