How Lakers plan to counter Warriors' championship DNA in West semifinals
How Lakers plan to counter championship DNA of Warriors' core originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
With four NBA championships under their belt in the last eight seasons, the Warriors have been tried and tested in the playoffs with plenty to show for it.
Going up against a team that has won half of the NBA Finals series since 2015 is no easy task, but after the Los Angeles Lakers won Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against Golden State, coach Darvin Ham knows the mindset they must sustain to overcome the defending champs.
"We’ve said we’re going to treat each game as its own entity, and I think that’s how you [stay on edge]," Ham told reporters Wednesday. "And you have nothing but respect for an opponent such as the Warriors, We all know what they’re capable of doing -- not just Steph ... But you also have Klay [Thompson], you also have [Jordan] Poole, you also have [Andrew] Wiggins, Draymond [Green], [Kevon] Looney. They affect the game, have huge impacts on the game in various ways with their rebounding, their defense, their play-making.
"You just take it one step at a time and make sure we’re locked in on all the information that’s being shared from player to coach, coach to player, in the process of us formulating a plan and waiting to see what type of adjustments they make, while also making sure we’re sharpening our knives and really sustaining what it is that worked out well for us in Game 1, and also having a few things in our back pocket, just in case we need to pivot."
Ham said it best: The Warriors' core of Curry, Thompson and Green all have four rings that speak for their championship DNA, and they can't be taken lightly despite finishing just one seed above the No. 7 Lakers in the 2022-23 regular season Western Conference standings. Add Looney into the mix, who has three rings himself, along with Poole and Wiggins, who earned their first NBA championships last postseason, and the Warriors certainly look like an immovable object come playoff time.
Even though the Lakers plan to remain vigilant with their 1-0 series lead over Golden State, Ham made it clear that the Warriors' past rings are exactly that, in the past. This is now, and Los Angeles is hungry for a title this decade that didn't come inside of a bubble.
"Just staying in the moment, man," Ham said. "Last year was last year, four years, five years ago, for them and us. That’s all in the rearview mirror. We have to handle what’s in front of us and stay locked into the moment. That’s the best thing we can do and the best mindset we can have."
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On the other side, Ham and the Lakers can expect the Warriors' mindset to revolve around what they do best in Game 2 and throughout the rest of the series: Winning.
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