Steve Kerr Believes the Warriors Have One Major Advantage over the Rockets

The Houston Rockets have arguably been the best team in the NBA this season, but Golden State head coach Steve Kerr believes his team has the advantage ahead of the Western Conference Finals.

The Rockets and the Warriors lock horns in a highly anticipated series that many have described as the real NBA Finals, given both teams are considered superior to the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Houston won a franchise record 65 games this season and it has been suggested it is hungrier for success than Golden State. James Harden and Chris Paul have never won a title, while the Warriors are looking to make a fourth consecutive NBA Finals after winning two of their last three.

GettyImages-946271728 Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors looks on and reacts to the play on the court against the San Antonio Spurs in the first quarter during Game One of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoff at ORACLE Arena on April 14, 2018 in Oakland. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Kerr believes his team’s experience will count for more than Houston’s desire to clinch a first NBA title in 23 years. “I like where we are," Kerr told reporters on Thursday, as reported by ESPN. "Our guys have rings. That's a good position to be in.”

Five Golden State players—Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Igoudala, Klay Thompson and Shaun Livingston—have won two NBA titles, while Kevin Durant captured his first last season but had already experienced the NBA Finals during his spell with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harden played alongside Durant when the Thunder lost the 2012 finals to the Miami Heat but is 2-8 against the Warriors in the playoffs over the last three seasons, while Paul has never got to play for a title despite featuring in 86 playoff games throughout his career.

Trevor Ariza is the only player in Houston's locker room to have featured in the NBA Finals, as he was part of the Lakers team that reached the final in 2008 and won the 2009 title.

Kerr suggested the Rockets will face an uphill struggle. “To me, the hardest championship is the first one, as an individual player and as a team, because you don't know—you don't quite know if you can do it,” he said.

"Once you get the first one, there's a little bit of house money. But you want it again because it's an unbelievable feeling. I like our position.”

Houston has been on fire offensively this year—it averages 109.5 points in the playoffs, second only to the Warriors—and it has also been very solid defensively, with only five teams conceding less points per game during the regular season.

The Rockets also have the home court advantage, meaning the Warriors will play Game One on the road, something they have never done en route to their two titles.

Kerr was unperturbed by the prospect of facing a hostile crowd on Monday. “We're going to go in here knowing we're the defending champs, knowing we got a couple of championships here the last few years. Let's go get another one. It's a nice feeling to have and to go into a series with."

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