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sport / / NBCSBA (Poole): Pacers represent Warriors' final home-court frontier

o NBCSBA (Poole): Pacers represent Warriors' final home-court frontierRobin Miller

NBCSBA (Poole): Pacers represent Warriors' final home-court frontier


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From: robin.mi...@invalid.invalid (Robin Miller)
Subject: NBCSBA (Poole): Pacers represent Warriors' final home-court frontier
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2024 20:49:33 -0400
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 by: Robin Miller - Sat, 23 Mar 2024 00:49 UTC

Pacers represent Warriors' final home-court frontier

By Monte Poole

• Published March 22, 2024

After lollygagging through 16 lead changes in 18 minutes Wednesday
night, the Warriors committed to defense and gave the profoundly
diminished Grizzlies the kind of thrashing that has become common during
Memphis’ lost season.

Golden State’s 21-point victory put its home record at a modest 18-18.

There has been considerable analysis, according to coach Steve Kerr, but
no discovery of solutions.

“We haven’t been able to establish that dominance at home,” Kerr said
this week. “That’s what’s keeping us from climbing up in the standings.”

Draymond Green doesn't have a clear answer for the Warriors' struggles
at Chase Center during the 2023-24 NBA season.

“If I had an answer for you, what’s happening, I would 1,000 percent
give the answer to my teammates," Green said.

And now comes the Boogeymen, who have been completely unfazed by Golden
State’s home court. The Indiana Pacers, who are in the habit of coming
into Chase Center once a year, stomping the Warriors into a fine powder
and strolling out like bully kings.

The Pacers are the only NBA team that is unbeaten at Chase. They were
the first to expose the demise of Golden State’s once imposing homecourt

It has been gone since the venue change, from Oakland to San Francisco.

The Pacers are 4-0 at Chase. They have won there with teams good and
bad, healthy and holey. Most improbable was their 121-117 overtime win
two years ago with three injured starters in street clothes. The
Warriors were finished that night by rookie Chris Duarte and a 5-foot-11
G-League veteran named Keifer Sykes.

The last time the Warriors beat the Pacers at home was more than five
years ago – at Oracle Arena.

Golden State’s starting lineup on March 21, 2019: Stephen Curry, Klay
Thompson, Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Green. All 13 Warriors –
remember Jonas Jerebko? Alfonzo McKinnie? – got minutes in a 112-89 rout.

The Pacers were beaten before they got off the bus, and the same could
be said of most teams venturing into Oracle. One opposing head coach
told me in 2015 – before Durant’s arrival supercharged the roster – that
it was the toughest arena in the league to get a win, partly because of
Golden State’s talent but partly because of the building.

Those Warriors went 39-2 at Oracle in each of Steve Kerr’s first two
seasons as head coach. That building posed a dual intimidation factor
that has not materialized at Chase.

Consider Curry’s comments last month, after the Warriors blew a 15-point
lead and lost to the Los Angeles Clippers.

"We've been very average so far, so we have to regain that homecourt
fear that we have grown accustomed to in the past," Curry said.

With successive excellent seasons at Chase before 2023, there was a
sense that the Warriors moving toward the goal of making it a place
visitors dared to venture. They were 31-10 at home in the 2021-22
championship season and bumped it to 33-8 last season. They were a
combined 15-3 at home in those two postseasons.

Chase was stepping up . . . until the puzzling regression of this
season. The Warriors’ so-called homecourt “advantage” is not unreliable.

“That’s been our staple,” Curry said this week. “We’ve given ourselves a
little cushion every season for the last, however long. It’s a challenge
that we have to overcome at some point down the stretch of the season.”

Boos bounced off the walls of the arena on Jan. 10, as the New Orleans
Pelicans were handing the Warriors their worst home loss (141-105) since
a 37-point drubbing in 2007 by the Spurs at the height of San Antonio's

Responding to the boos at Chase, Kerr said “we deserved it for sure.”
Curry conceded that he was “booing our team in my head because of the
way we’re playing.”

Since Curry spoke of regaining “homecourt fear,” the Warriors are 4-4 at
Chase, with losses to the mediocre Chicago Bulls, the cellar-dwelling
San Antonio Spurs and a New York Knicks team missing three starters –
games that likely devastate Golden State’s hopes of achieving a
guaranteed playoff berth.

The Warriors have more road games (nine) than home games (five)
remaining, which might be a good thing. But it shouldn’t be. Not in this

“It's just weird,” Kerr said Monday afternoon. “It doesn't really make
sense. We've always been a good home team and it doesn't mean we can't
start being one now. That's what I told the guys today. That's the one
thing we haven't really done this year is control our homecourt. That's
a goal of ours here down the stretch to take care of business here.”
Two hours later, the Warriors were trailing the Knicks by 14 points
within the first five minutes. They never caught up.

Though the Warriors recovered Wednesday night, beating the Grizzlies,
the task Friday night is far more difficult. The Pacers have the
highest-scoring offense in the league, averaging 122.8 points per game
and are No. 2 in offensive rating.

This Indiana squad is better than all but one the Warriors have seen
since moving to Chase.

But if the Warriors can’t slay the Pacers this time, with all that is at
stake, rising in the standings will feel like an overachievement.

sport / / NBCSBA (Poole): Pacers represent Warriors' final home-court frontier


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