The Warriors completed a sweep of the Spurs on Monday and return to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive season.
USA TODAY Sports
The Golden State Warriors completed their Western Conference finals sweep of the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night and are headed to the NBA Finals for a third straight season. They’re also the first team in NBA history to start the playoffs 12-0 — yet another accolade added to their dominant three-year run.
Now ask Draymond Green how much he cares.
“You never come into the playoffs expecting like ‘Oh man, we’re going to sweep every series.’ It’s a great thing. But at the end of the day, had we went 4-3, 4-3, 4-3 — we’d still be in the same position. It’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean too much.
“It means we got a little more rest, we played a few less games, but it’s not like you get some trophy or something for being undefeated throughout the first three rounds of the playoffs. Like I’ve stated before, it’s about winning the championship, and we’re four games away from that. If that’s 4-0, great. If it’s 4-3, great. It doesn’t matter how you get those four wins, as long as you get them, and that’s our goal.”
But that’s not to say the Warriors, who had a noticeably subdued postgame celebration, don’t appreciate another shot at a title. They’ve just been here before, and they know all too well how quickly the tables can turn come June, especially if the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers are the ones standing in the way.
“Obviously it’s something that you’re going to appreciate. You try not to take it for granted,” Green said. “It just doesn’t happen every year, where you’re headed to the NBA Finals. So you appreciate it, but you can definitely sense a little different type of feeling. It’s great and everybody’s excited about it, but you just see a difference, and it’s still kind of business-as-usual, we’re-not-finished type of attitude, which is great. You definitely want to have that, knowing that we need four more wins to accomplish our main goal.”
Stephen Curry, who’s playing that type of beautiful basketball that earned him back-to-back MVP awards, expressed similar sentiments.
“Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate this — this opportunity. Playing in this league, you can’t take anything for granted,” Curry said. “Thirty teams suit up every year trying to get to this point and only two teams do. You have to appreciate it. We might not be jumping up and down, screaming at the top of our lungs, doing all that nonsense. But we understand the privilege we have, the opportunity that we have to play in the Finals again, to have an opportunity to win a championship, we appreciate that.”
The Warriors await the winner of the Cavaliers’ series with the Boston Celtics, which Cleveland leads 2-1. Should the Cavaliers advance, Golden State and Cleveland would become the first two teams in NBA history to face off in the NBA Finals three years in a row.
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