Back when Mark Jackson was first tabbed by Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber to head up their team, there was considerable scoffing. Jackson was respected as a player and well-known as a broadcaster, but had not spent a minute on an NBA sideline as an assistant coach, had zero experience in the minutiae of coaching—drawing up game plans, running practices, quelling locker-room tiffs and the like.

But Jackson did have a seemingly endless well of positivity, and even though we’re talking about coaching a roster of multimillionaire professional athletes, there’s something to be said for putting on the rose-colored glasses, every day. When he first met with reporters after getting the Warriors job, Jackson was already promising playoffs, and the resulting guffaws were loud.

And so it is no surprise that, after the Warriors followed up their near-miss, double-overtime loss to the Spurs in Game 1 of the West semifinals with a Game 2 win in San Antonio, Jackson was again indulging in what most would consider hyperbole. But the thing about Jackson is that he says these things so much, you start to think he really believes what he says. Then, if and when things go his way, you start to believe what he says, too.

I had spoken with Jackson on more than one occasion about the prospects for second-year guard Klay Thompson, who cracked Jackson’s rotation late last year as a rookie, and was hurled into the starting lineup from the get-go this year.