These Warriors won't be confused with Golden State's title-winning squads of 2014-15, '16-17 and '17-18, but Steph Curry said a target remains on their back.
Curry told reporters in a video press conference Sunday after the Warriors' 117-91 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at halftime that Draymond Green -- who missed the second half with a sprained ankle -- reminded his teammates that Golden State's opponents haven't forgotten the lopsided losses to the Warriors during their championship era.
"We have to remember, even when we're playing well [and] we've won three [games] in a row, teams still want to beat us and beat us bad," Curry recalled Green saying. "They still have a lot of memories from the last five, six years. ... Those disciplines that separate a good team from a great team have to show up."
Even with Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala playing elsewhere, Klay Thompson injured and the Warriors turning over most of their roster since their last NBA Finals appearance in 2019, Curry, Green and coach Steve Kerr still provide a lot of continuity from Golden State teams that routinely won by double digits.
LeBron James would qualify as a player with "a lot of memories," but the Lakers had plenty of motivation of their own Sunday night. LA had lost four of its last five before dominating Golden State at Staples Center, with James facing questions about his ability to lead a winning team without superstar big man Anthony Davis. James and the Lakers looked just fine without him against the Warriors, trailing by a point early on and never looking back afterward.
The Warriors ended Sunday with a 19-16 record, good for eighth in the Western Conference and only a game back of the San Antonio Spurs for fifth. Golden State is just a half-game behind the sixth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers -- and, thus, avoiding the play-in round for the last two playoff spots -- with a game in Portland on Wednesday.
Curry surely expects the Blazers, whom the Warriors eliminated from the playoffs in three of the preceding five seasons, to bring their best effort Wednesday. He also wouldn't have it any other way.
"Probably not," Curry said when a reporter asked if he felt opponents' intensity against Golden State would diminish as long as he plays for the team.
"And that's a great thing because hopefully we'll be back where we plan to be."