The back-to-back champion Golden State Warriors are still trying to close out their first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. They’ll have another chance Friday in Los Angeles in Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead after failing to complete a comeback Wednesday night.
A series victory will give fans the Western Conference matchup they’ve been waiting for as the Houston Rockets await in the second round. Draftkings Sportsbooks was so sure both the Rockets and Warriors would win Wednesday they released the lines for the second-round game, per Rockets Wire.
At least one member of the Warriors, who cruise by opponents at the peak of the 2018-19 roller coaster but are in turn quickly squashed by opponents while in the valley, told reporters he was also looking past the Clippers.
"Yup, start with me, I was," Warriors guard Klay Thompson admitted. "I thought we were going to come out and win tonight, but sometimes life doesn't go as planned. We're still in a great position with hopefully only 48 minutes left to close these guys out."
Thompson struggled in the first three games, scoring a total 41 points with six assists. He took a swim in the ocean, scored 32 in game 4 and put up 22 in game 5.
Even head coach Steve Kerr alluded to the team looking ahead. From Ann Killion at the San Francisco Chronicle:
“We seemed to take it for granted that we were going to be OK,” Kerr said. “We let our guard down. I didn’t have them ready to fight.”
It’s one thing to believe in a team and keep an eye on the other matchups in the conference, especially as the two-time champion everyone is gunning for. Thompson’s comments to reporters after Game 4 was more along that line.
"We see our opponent, they're up 3-0," Thompson said of the Rockets after Game 4, per ESPN. "So we don't wanna give them any more rest days."
It’s completely different to look past a current opponent as if it’s going to be easy to be done with them, even if they are double-digit underdogs. The Clippers knew the deal, with Lou Williams telling ESPN, "it's their mistake for looking ahead. So that's on them."
Warriors superstar Steph Curry told reporters, per The Athletic, the Clippers took an early lead because they “seemed like they had nothing to lose and they were just firing it up from all over the place.”
That’s how they get you. All you have to do is take a look at the 2019 NHL playoffs to see the reality of upsets.
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