OAKLAND, California – When the Golden State Warriors teamed up with the Houston Rockets in the final of the Western Conference, they found themselves in uncharted territory with no home advantage. In fact, some members of the team have inadvertently booked family and friends airline tickets to arrive in the Bay for Games 1 and 2, and forgot that they started the series in Houston.
It's been so long since the defending champions started a series on the road. Four years, to be exact. The Warriors had previously opened 14 direct playoff series in the Oracle Arena.
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"It's been a while since we started a series on the road," said Draymond Green. "You forget that feeling somehow … When you're on tour, the mindset is to get a game, hopefully you can do that in Game 1, but nonetheless, that will be our attitude, and, I know, I'm looking forward to it the opportunity for us to start a series elsewhere and not so much where we seek shelter at home, just so as not to give up a game. "
1 Seed was a major priority this season for the Rockets, who played seven games before finished the No. 2 seed warriors. It was Houston's first step to dethrone the Warriors.
The last time the Warriors were the understaffed team in a playoff series when they lost Game 7 on the way to the LA Clippers in the first round. Mark Jackson was dismissed shortly after as head coach of the team and replaced by Steve Kerr.
"It was just a learning experience for us to be successful during the playoffs in a hostile environment," said Stephen Curry of the 2014 series. "It left a sour taste in our mouths as we lost, and then we understood how important it was to have an advantage at home, and that was one of the reasons why I think we could come around the corner . " 19659002]
 Since then, the Warriors have had an NBA best replay record time of 55-17, including a 20-12 mark on the road, and have won two championships under Kerr.
"It's different," Kerr said, starting on the road. "I think, our boys, they take the challenge, and they accept it, they feel, OK, we do not have a home dish for the first time," but we seem to be in our best time are definitely threatened. We're on our way to Game 1, we've never felt that. "
The Warriors have been struggling throughout the season, with their regular season series with Houston completed in January, which is an important reason why the second half of the Golden State season was so uninspiring, and Kerr's voice sometimes sounded too hollow, which made him try different tactics to engage his team, even allowing players to use the time-outs To run Huddles in a game against the Phoenix Suns in February.
But for a team that was three consecutive finals, it would take a new challenge to bring their excitement back to a high level few challenges that the Warriors were interested in, especially with the added difficulty of starting on the road.
"It's not the norm, but I like it," Livingston said. "I've done it before in other places, and I like it because it sets that tone, you have to be ready." "Adequate fear. Come in, on the road." You have the opposing fans who come to you. "It's fun.
Andre Iguodala, who made headlines when talking about hostile cities – he commented to ESPN on Utah's lack of nightlife, which the locals did not value last year – joked that he "rejoices" the hospitality, which the big Houstoners have to offer. "
For him, he said it was as usual, and the Warriors were supposed to go home 2-0.
" You go in and just play, "he said, there's nothing but down there You're trying to win every game you play, many people say, "Ah, we're going down there and we're trying to split." No, we're trying to win both games. At the end of the day you play basketball and you control what you can control. "
Iguodala added that even if the series moves to Oakland, the Warriors & # 39; I'll be able to arm myself against this Rockets team.
"I have no comfort at home," he said. It's always like a show wherever we go. It follows us on the street. Sometimes the best of us. But it's the playoffs. We will be ready. We have to be. "