Warriors must show 'appropriate fear' in Game 5, prove they can take a punch

Warriors must show 'appropriate fear' in Game 5, prove they can take a punch

OAKLAND -- Can the Golden State Warriors take a punch? That is the question of the night as the Cavaliers walk into Oracle Arena looking to stave off elimination once again and shift the momentum of the series back to Cleveland.

Everyone should know the history here. After leading 3-1 in the Finals a season ago, the Warriors stumbled down the stretch and lost to this same Cavs team in Game 7.

Golden State took a 3-0 lead in the series this season, but the Cavs put on a show of physicality and marksmanship on Friday evening, taking Game 4 and setting up an eerily similar situation Monday night in Oakland.

“For us as a team tonight, we’ve got to be more on edge, I hope we’re a little more nervous,” Steve Kerr said during his pregame media scrum. “We didn’t seem that nervous in Game 4. Nervous is good. Appropriate fear is the Gregg Popovich line. We need that.”

Maybe it was the fact that the Warriors had posted a perfect 15-0 record heading into Game 4. They had a swagger and the Cavs quickly took it away.

Cleveland hit the Warriors early and often, scoring an incredible 49 points in the first quarter on their way to a 86-68 lead at the intermission. The final tally was a 21-point drubbing and a glimmer of hope for the Cavs.

The Cavs set the tone for how the game was going to be played. After watching the Warriors run circles around them in the first three games of the series, it Cleveland’s strength that stood out. They pushed Golden State all over the court, which they will attempt to do again in Game 5.

“We didn’t deserve a lot of calls the other night,” Kerr said. “They were the aggressor. Every time, in my experience in the Finals, when you have one team that’s much more aggressive than the other, things tend to go their way. Cleveland earned everything.”

The Cavs opened a door just a crack and will try to push their way back into the series in front of the Warriors home crowd. Maybe it was the wake up call that the Warriors needed. They’ll have to show that they can take a huge shot to the jaw and bounce off the canvas. If not, this series could get interesting very quickly.

Does Harrison Barnes miss the Bay Area? 'I like living in Dallas, but...'


Does Harrison Barnes miss the Bay Area? 'I like living in Dallas, but...'

After four years in Oakland, Harrison Barnes was forced to leave town when the Warriors signed Kevin Durant last summer.

Barnes just finished the first year of a four-year, $94 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.

So, does the former first-round pick miss his old home?

"I like living in Dallas but will always have love for Oakland!!" Barnes said in response to a question on Twitter on Sunday.

Barnes also picked his favorite restaurants in Oakland and San Francisco.

"Belly in Oakland or Amber in SF," Barnes wrote.

Steve Kerr keeping offseason routine in line: 'I'm not Jon Gruden'


Steve Kerr keeping offseason routine in line: 'I'm not Jon Gruden'

For the third straight summer, Steve Kerr has had a shortened offseason to work with.

While he is working on things for the 2017-18 season, he's not trying to cram as much work into a short period of time. He's taking time to relax and enjoy the summer.

In an interview with The Chronicle's Scott Ostler on Saturday, Kerr pulled back the curtain on how's spending the time before training camp starts.

“I’m on the phone, talking to Bob Myers, talking to our coaches and to different people. Writing down thoughts, putting together plans for our coaching retreat. It might be just something that pops into my head, where I just stop and write something down. But I’m not Jon Gruden, I’m not waking up at five in the morning and going to the film room,” Kerr said.

What could Kerr and Myers possibly talk about every single day?

“We talk about players, talk about roles. We talked a lot about Nick Young and [Omri] Casspi before we signed those guys. Talked a lot about our center position. Bob and I talk every day, kind of the first thing in the morning we check in with each other, usually talk for a half hour. We’re really close. He just got back from a great vacation, in Italy,” Kerr said.

Kerr and the defending champion Warriors get back on the court Sept. 30 in a preseason tilt against the Nuggets in Oakland. Then they head to China to play the Timberwolves twice before returning to face the Kings at home on Oct. 13. Four days later, they raise a banner, get their rings and tip-off the regular season against the Rockets.