OAKLAND – The Warriors have spent most of season barely whispering of team goals, other than making the playoffs and, um, getting better by the day.
But with the playoffs already assured and a No. 1 seed in their sights, they're cranking up the swagger machine and starting to speak out.
Asked Friday about the significance of winning a Pacific Division, coach Steve Kerr wasted no time stressing its importance.
"It's a big deal," he said. "We counted it as one of our goals at the beginning of the season. We had some intangible goals in terms of philosophy, how we wanted to play and what we wanted to look like.
"And then we had some tangible goals. One was controlling our home court, which we've done a great job of, and the other one was to win the division, which we knew we would get us homecourt in the first round.
"It’s a big deal."
Though a division title is but one barometer of success, it should matter to the Warriors. They haven't won one since 1976, a year after their only championship season in the Bay Area.
In the 39 seasons since '76, they've finished in the division cellar 10 times – including four times since 2000.
A division title might not mean much to those franchises with numerous banners hanging in the rafters of their arena. To the Warriors, it absolutely does.