The Warriors are no stranger to adversity, and have shown throughout the years they can overcome plenty en route to four NBA championships in eight seasons.
Golden State has faced many challenges during the 2022-23 NBA season, too, and came out of the All-Star break with a .500 record and in ninth place in the Western Conference.
Warriors veteran Draymond Green believes the team has turned a corner since then. His evidence? The Warriors' third straight win Tuesday night over the Portland Trail Blazers, which boosted them into fifth place after they overcame a 17-point halftime deficit.
"What you figure out is, can the team withstand adversity?" Green told reporters after the win of Golden State's third-quarter comeback. "Quite frankly, this team has not throughout the season. You look at where we are and you say we've done a pretty good job of withstanding it, but there's times where adversities have hit and we haven't responded well to it. That's growth, right? That's the growth you want to see. ...
"That's where you want to be. It's Game 62, so it's about time that you start turning that corner."
The Warriors now stand at 32-30 with 20 games remaining on their schedule amid a close race in the West. They eagerly await the return of Steph Curry, who has been out with a lower left leg injury since Feb. 4 -- just some of that adversity Green spoke of -- but leaders like Green and Klay Thompson have stepped up in his absence.
And who better to do so than the two battle-tested champions, who have overcome plenty across their careers to earn four rings. Thompson and Green know what it will take to defend their NBA title because they've done it so many times before, no matter what injuries or setbacks the game has thrown their way.
"It’s very easy to continue to go the wrong way. It’s very easy to pout and feel sorry for yourself," Green said. "I said to the guys on the bench against the [Los Angeles] Clippers, like, ‘Nobody’s going to feel bad for us.’ We don’t need anybody to feel bad for us. We know what it takes. We know the guys we have in this locker room and what we’re capable of. [I’m] very happy to see guys stick with it like guys have.
"You get a Donte [DiVincenzo] come in here, a JaMychal [Green] come in here, and the expectation is we’re going to win, it will be smooth sailing and that’s just that. The reality is, no championship season is smooth sailing. No season is smooth sailing, and it’s very hard to win, it’s very hard. So when you go through the adversity, you’ve got to stay the course because if you can, you come out on the other side of it a totally different team. You come out on the other side of it motivated. You come out on the other side of it stronger and together, and I think we’re doing that."
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The Warriors have two games remaining on their current homestand, with matchups against the Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans at Chase Center looming. Green believes more good things are still to come as Golden State looks to build on its current winning streak and get back into the NBA playoffs.
"We need to close the deal," Green said. "I don’t want to overreact, but these have been some good wins for us and it’s something we can build on."