OAKLAND - Heading into the second round of the NBA playoffs, the Warriors still have a myriad of obstacles entering the hyped Western Conference semifinals matchup with the Houston Rockets.
Chief among them is the team's relationship with the referees. Through six postseason games, the Warriors have accumulated six technical fouls as a team. Draymond Green and Kevin Durant have combined for five.
Adding to Golden State's conundrum, seven individual technicals trigger an automatic suspension for a player -- no matter how far his team advances in the playoffs. With that in mind, Warriors coach Steve Kerr hopes the bylaw changes in the near future.
"I'll never understand the rule," Kerr said Saturday afternoon at the team's practice facility. "Whether you go lose in four games in the first round or you play 25 games and you go to the Finals, it's the same technical foul points that lead to a suspension. Seems strange."
The Warriors have had their share of troubles with officials this season. They accumulated 77 technical fouls in the 82-game regular season, plus four player ejections and five flagrant fouls. Green and Durant finished the season tied for second in the league with 16 technical fouls.
While the NBA reset technical totals at the start of the postseason, it didn't stop Green and Durant from getting reprimanded. Durant tallied three technical fouls - with one getting rescinded - through the first two games of the playoffs, including an ejection after standing over Clippers guard Patrick Beverley in Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
In Friday's 129-110 series-clinching win over the Clippers in Game 6, Green received his second technical of the postseason after arguing a foul call with referee David Guthrie late in the fourth quarter, much to Kerr's chagrin.
"I thought it was way too quick," Kerr said. "I swear he said 'tell me what I have to do better. I think he was called for a foul, I think he had good verticality. It's a questionable call but that happens all the time. He ran over to him, he said 'tell me what I have to do to defend that better' and he got a 'T.' So I was surprised and we'll see what happens. But we have to understand that we have to be on alert."
While Green and Durant have been among the league leaders in technical fouls in recent seasons, both have shown restraint when faced with an automatic suspension. With another deep playoff run expected, Kerr believes both players won't put the Warriors' season in jeopardy by earning suspensions.
"I do know that Kevin and Draymond have a good feel for when they reach that number and they generally are able to shut that emotion off when they need to."
As for the current rule in place, Kerr says he's talked to league commissioner Adam Silver and league officials about possibly adjusting the technical rule for teams that advance and hopes that one day the current structure will change.
"There's a lot of work goes on behind the scenes and I'm confident that they consider everything but you're not going to get a lot of sympathy," he said.
"The way it is now doesn't make a ton of sense," Kerr added. "I'd like to see it revisited but that's coming from a guy that gets a lot of technical fouls and plays deep in the playoffs so I'm a little biased."