Golden State Warriors failed to make it into the playoffs for the second season running after an overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in the final fixture of the play-in tournament. Coach Steve Kerr dissected the loss and claimed fatigue to be a major factor following a gruelling regular season.
The Warriors came up short in overtime with the score ending 99-99 at the end of regulation. The former champions played Lakers on May 20 and had a similar schedule to the Grizzlies.
“I think fatigue was a factor tonight. This was about as wild as we’ve looked over the past six weeks.” Kerr said after the match
Memphis Grizzlies utilized the depth in their squad as the players off the bench played a key role in the win. The burned-out squad of the Warriors were heavily reliant on Curry during the offence.
The hosts, despite trailing for almost the entirety of the contest, had the chance to win since they had the possession for the last play.
With 9.6 seconds still remaining on the clock and the score reading 99 apiece, Xavier Tillman missed a shot which could have taken the Grizzlies into the lead.
Steve Kerr opted not to take the final timeout which kept the game running. Steph Curry drawing to players with him, passed it to Draymond Green, who was in the open. The Defensive Player Of The Year nominee proceeded to miss the game winning floater and send the fixture into overtime.
The coach claimed that due to the momentum his team seemed to have in the final moments of the game, he opted not to go for the timeout.
“We chose not to, We had our shooters on the floor. We had [the Grizzlies] on their heels a little bit, and we knew we were gonna run our high drag with Steph and Draymond. And at that point, I didn’t want to disrupt the momentum. We had the last shot, so we chose to go ahead and play.” Kerr told reporters in a postgame video conference.
Kerr deems the season as a success despite heartbreak
The NBA winning coach assessed the tough season and claimed it to be a season even though they missed out on the playoffs.
A serious injury to Klay Thompson before the start of the season was the first blow they received and after constantly hovering around the play-in tournament spot, they were able to finish eighth with a serious run in the final quarter of the season.
Kerr also lauded the young players in the system and feels that their development sets it up for the next season.
“I think this season absolutely was a success Anthony, we would have loved to have gotten into the playoffs and tried to make a run. We were really a good team over the last 22 games I guess,” he said