The Golden State Warriors are one of the most promising, up-and-coming teams in the league. But if they want to take that next step from “promising team” to “legitimate contender,” all they have to do is look at their opponent tonight: the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Much like the Warriors, the Thunder underwent a drastic turnaround with the arrival of several young stars, namely Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Despite not winning a championship yet, they have been among the league’s best since their rise to prominence some three years ago.
“Every game’s a big game, but definitely this is one (against) a team that we’re trying to get to where they’ve been,” said Warriors point guard Stephen Curry. “We’re going to be fighting all season in the Western Conference.”
Curry also spoke about head coach Mark Jackson choosing to have Klay Thompson defend the opponents’ star point guard instead of Curry. For example, Thompson will be guarding Russell Westbrook tonight while Curry will defend Thabo Sefolosha.
“It’s all about using each guy’s strength to help us win games,” he said. “Klay is a great on-ball defender, using his length against point guards. I’m going to get my turn at him. I always have that competitiveness. I want to guard the best guys on floor, especially when they get going, but it’s all about the game plan. I’ll get my turn throughout the course of the game and have to step up and make defensive plays.”
Curry made it clear that he would love to get the opportunity to defend the other team’s star, but Jackson gets the final say.
Said Curry: “I’m allowed to lobby, but I’m sure he’s got his mind made up before I approach him.”