Steph tells Shaq that Warriors feel like 'playoff team'


Warriors basketball is finally back after a nine-month layoff with Tuesday night’s tip-off against the Brooklyn Nets.

The return of basketball also means the return of Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” pre- and post-game shows.

Steph Curry joined the guys for a quick chat before facing off against his old teammate Kevin Durant and the Nets. 

When Shaq asked Curry about his expectations for the Klay Thompson-less Warriors this season, it’s clear that a trip back to the postseason is the goal. 

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“I mean we know what the experts are saying,” Curry said, using air quotes, “and what, where people kind of see us in the Western Conference. But for us, it’s gotta be a situation that no matter how this season starts to understand we’re gonna get better, you know every single game, every single week.

“I mean we obviously wanna be a playoff team. And once we get in there, we know we’ll be a tough out. So the beauty of it is every game is important. You know win or lose, every game is an opportunity to learn, bring the young guys along. And I think we understand that, so we feel like we’re a playoff team and we’re gonna get there. This is gonna be a fun 72-game journey.”

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In the words of Steph himself: It’s time to lock in. 

During his local media session on Monday, Curry shared that being an underdog is “part of my DNA.” Aside from that magical five-year run that resulted in five straight NBA Finals trips for the Warriors, the undersized Curry has had to prove himself at every level. In Year 12 of his career, he’s got a new challenge to bring the Warriors back to prominence.

He’s also got to regain bragging rights against Barkley on the golf course. Last month, Barkley and Phil Mickelson outdueled Curry and Peyton Manning in a celebrity match.

“Appreciate you kicking our butt,” Curry told Barkley. “I'm gonna try to do that to Brooklyn right now.”