Steph Curry Gets Honest on Warriors’ Daunting Task to Escape Play-In

Warriors' Stephen Curry

Getty Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors looks up between plays in the third quarter against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Stephen Curry carries the weight of playoff expectations that the Golden State Warriors have routinely met in the past.

This season has become an exception. Or is this the new norm?

“I think it’s pretty obvious it’ll be a disappointment,” Curry told reporters on Monday, April 15, per NBC Sports Bay Area, “if we’re not in a playoff series and have an opportunity to compete at that level.”

The 10th-seeded Warriors will heavily rely on Curry’s shoulders to achieve the daunting task of winning two straight knockout games in the play-in tournament to advance to the playoffs.

First, they have to beat their California rival Sacramento Kings on the road on Tuesday night, April 16.

Can Curry rekindle the magic of his epic 50-point explosion in their Game 7 win over the Kings in last season’s first round? Or will the Kings hammer the final nail in the Warriors dynasty’s coffin?

Curry remains defiant.

“This year has been all up and down, and the playoffs are the most fun time of the year,” Curry said. “We just want an opportunity. Even sitting here right now 24 hours before the game [in Sacramento], I feel very comfortable and ready for the moment. That just comes with all the reps you’ve had over the years.”

The Warriors and the Kings have split their season head-to-head.

The Kings’ twin wins came after the Warriors squandered a 24-point lead in a 124-123 loss on November 28 and Curry committed a crucial turnover in the closing seconds of a 134-33 loss on January 25.

Warriors to Rely on Experience

Curry and the Warriors will bank on the vast playoff experience as they hope to extend their rapidly closing dynasty window.

“It’s a little bit more of a comfort zone of understanding what that environment is like,” Curry said. “When you’re 26, you’re just really antsy and anxious. You’re living off that youthful energy. That carries you through, even if mentally you don’t quite understand how to execute at that level. You can kind of get by.

For me [now], it’s locking in on the strategy that we’re trying to implement with the game plan, understanding what I need to do to get my body ready.”

If they manage to beat the Kings on the road, where the Warriors hold a 25-16 record (fourth-best in the NBA this season), they will face the loser of the other play-in bracket between the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans.

Klay Thompson’s Future Up in the Air

If the Warriors flame out early, the narrative will quickly shift to Klay Thompson‘s future with the team.

Thompson will become an unrestricted free agent and teams with big cap space are ready to throw money at him to lure him out of the Bay area.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst believes the Warriors and Thompson will ultimately agree on a discounted contract.

“I think they like the way this team finished the season — 27-12 down the stretch, top-10 offense, top-10 defense. They are a quality team,” Windhorst said on ESPN’s “Get Up” on April 16. “They’re gonna have to reduce their payroll — they’re spending almost 400 million dollars. Klay Thompson is making $43 million this year. He will not make that from anybody next year, certainly not the Warriors.

I think they bring Klay Thompson back. I think they like the way this team played at the end of the season.”