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Kerr details how Klay, Draymond turned around Warriors' season

Kerr details how Klay, Draymond turned around Warriors' season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

With the Warriors' season on the line in a do-or-die Western Conference Play-In game against the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, coach Steve Kerr is pleased with how his veteran core of Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins came on strong to turn the teams’ season around.

Speaking to the media Monday ahead of Tuesday’s 9-vs.-10 play-in tournament game, Kerr was asked what he thought the vibes were on the team heading into the most critical part of the season.

“Our guys are in a really good frame of mind,” Kerr said. “I might have mentioned it yesterday after the game but the second half of the season obviously we had a really good record, I think 27-12 or something.

“We also had a really good two-way balance, both offense and defense in the top 10. We had all the hallmarks of a really good team in the second half of the year, but it was more than that, we had guys who were struggling early in the season, slow starts for Wiggs and Klay, Draymond with his suspension.”

Kerr went on to explain that he was satisfied with how the team had come together after a slow start to the season, noting that Green and Thompson had made huge strides during the second half, where Golden State had the fifth-best record in the NBA since the All-Star break.

“So, one of the things I’m most pleased about with this second half is just the sense of ease and peace that each guy seems to have,” Kerr said. “I think Draymond and Klay are in a great place as opposed to early in the season and that matters, and that affects other people. So, I really think this team has good chemistry, Draymond has been a great mentor for the younger guys the second half of the year.

“So, it’s not just in our record or our offensive-defensive rating, it’s the vibe and it’s a good vibe and obviously we’re in a tough spot, we’ve got to win two games just to get into the playoffs and anything can happen but I do really believe in this group and I believe in karma, I think this group has earned some good karma.”

When asked what triggered the second-half surge from the Warriors after a lackluster start to the season, Kerr again pointed to two of his veteran stars getting into the right groove.

“I think Draymond and Klay, those two guys getting into the right headspace triggered it,” Kerr said.

“Let’s face it, they’re Hall of Fame players, they’ve hung four banners here along with Steph and Andre [Iguodala], that’s the foundation of the team. We’ve got a lot of other contributors and guys who have played well and won championships with Wiggs and [Kevon Looney] and guys who have really contributed to this.

“But this team is about Steph, Klay and Draymond and so first half of the season neither one was right emotionally, spiritually, however you want to put it. Once they turned the corner, it affected the whole team because that’s how it works. Part of that is our defense just got dramatically better and that’s where Draymond really comes in. Not only his performance on the floor but the way he impacts his teammates and his approach the second half of the season has been fantastic.”

Early in the season, Golden State struggled with consistency, falling behind the Western Conference's best teams. Despite the early hole, the Warriors climbed out and finished the regular season with a flourish, thanks to the improved play of Thompson and Green.

Still, the late surge was not enough to make up ground, leaving the Warriors with the No.10 seed in the playoffs, meaning they need to win two play-in games to secure the No. 8 seed and a best-of-seven series with the top-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

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