The Golden State Warriors had two chances to make the playoffs, and both times they came up short, including Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies as the Warriors fell in overtime 117-112 at Chase Center in the Play-In Tournament.
Golden State lost to the Lakers on Wednesday night in the Play-In Tournament 103-100 in Los Angeles.
Memphis now goes on to play the number one seed in the West, the Utah Jazz, while the Warriors go home. Golden State overcame many odds to get this point, including injuries to Klay Thompson and rookie James Wiseman, but the Warriors did not have enough to get over the hump and into the playoffs.
After the game, Warriors forward Draymond Green, who had a triple-double with 11 points, 16 rebounds, and 15 assists against Memphis, reflected on the season.
‘We definitely had a lot of struggles trying to build with a young, new team,” Green said. “Had quite a few rough patches there along the way, but over the last 20 games or so, we started to figure it out and grow, and a lot of successes came from that. Steph Curry being in the MVP conversation, myself, being in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation.”
Despite overcoming the obstacles and going 15-5 in the final 20 games to put themselves in a position to get to the playoffs, Green would not call this season a success for the Warriors.
“The reality is we came up a little short, so there are no moral victories here,” he said. “We’re still champions, and that’s always the goal, so I’m not going to act like this year was some huge success because we didn’t win it, and that’s always the goal.”
While Green would not call the season a success, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr did.
“I think this season absolutely was a success; we would have loved to have gotten into the playoffs and tried to make a run,” Kerr said. “We were really a good team over the last 22 games, I guess… To watch Jordan (Poole), Juan (Toscano-Anderson), Mychal Mulder, these young guys grow and develop, that makes this a successful season because of what it sets up for next year.”
Curry, one of the three finalists for MVP, was proud of his team, but like Green, there are no moral victories for him.
“It’s okay to pat yourself on the back for doing something that really, nobody thought we could do,’ Curry, who had 39 points on Friday night, said. “I don’t think there is any moral victories. It’s weird because we’re not used to this, but we’re definitely proud of ourselves.”
The Warriors battled hard to get to this point, and it seemed the playoffs were going to happen for Golden State after they defeated the Grizzlies last Sunday to get that eighth seed, but they fell just short. Obviously, the Warriors can get back into contention, especially with Thompson and Wiseman coming back, so while they are disappointed now, next season will probably be a different story for Golden State.