BOSTON — For the first three quarters of the Golden State Warriors’ recreation towards the Boston Celtics on Thursday, Stephen Curry and firm regarded like themselves. Coach Steve Kerr went so far as to say they regarded like a championship staff.
But then, in the fourth quarter and thru time beyond regulation, the whole lot that they had put collectively unraveled … once more.
And now after a 121-118 loss to the Celtics, the Warriors sit at 22-23 midway by the season and simply 5-18 on the street.
“We’re succesful, but it surely’s a matter of execution and having the ability to maintain it,” Curry stated. “There’s one other degree to get to that we’ve not gotten to [to] when it comes to placing collectively a full 48 minutes.”
The Warriors are in full search mode. They have been all season. And thus far, they have discovered virtually nothing.
They aren’t panicking or displaying a substantial amount of concern, at the least publicly. Klay Thompson is resting on of their long-adopted mindset: If we make it to the playoffs wholesome, we are able to beat anybody.
To a sure diploma, they nonetheless consider this to be true. But there’s additionally an understanding that this season will not be like every other.
“Last yr [we] began 18-2, we had some tough patches however at the least you had a section of the season that you just could say we figured it out,” Curry stated after Golden State misplaced to the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 15. “We would possibly have had a recreation or two, however we’ve not had a stretch the place persistently we are able to say we have figured it out. You’re going to lose video games from time to time … But a variety of it’s self-inflicted or not having the ability to show we have the id that we want.”
Golden State can file its recreation towards the Celtics underneath the umbrella Curry was speaking about.
For the majority of their dynastic run over the previous 10 years, the Warriors turned identified for his or her large third quarters. They configured totally different variations of closing small-ball lineups that they dubbed “loss of life lineups.” The “Strength In Numbers” slogan was well-earned.
But this season, all of it appears off.
Thursday’s recreation in Boston noticed considered one of their higher third quarters shortly, however they weren’t ready to slam the door shut. Their bench hasn’t been practically as productive as final season.
“There has to be a way of urgency however I do not assume we’re taking part in that method… If you do not have a constant degree of urgency then you’re going to lose,” Draymond Green stated after their loss in Chicago.
He continued: “I feel the level [where we’ll turn a corner] will come, however you have received to construct in direction of it. You cannot take two steps ahead, or three steps again. It’s received to be a continuing construct … that fixed construct has not began.”
Golden State is much from the first staff with title aspirations to be treading water at the halfway level of the season. Just a yr in the past, the Celtics discovered themselves with a 25-25 report by 50 video games.
After a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 28, the Celtics went on a nine-game profitable streak. They solely misplaced six video games the the rest of the common season on their method to the NBA Finals.
The Warriors will now look to observe an identical script, and one they’re conversant in themselves.
Two seasons in the past with out Thompson, Golden State hovered round .500 earlier than profitable 15 of their final 20 video games, ultimately dropping in the play-in match.
The Warriors have not expressed precisely what’s holding them again. They’ve stated they do not know why they cannot string good video games — or perhaps a sequence of fine selections, in some circumstances — collectively.
Kerr took the first step in making an attempt to discover a spark for his staff by switching his beginning lineup towards the Celtics, one thing he stated he’ll stick to for now. Jordan Poole began instead of Kevon Looney, becoming a member of Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Curry and Green.
“We’re previous the midway level and we’re .500. Let’s strive one thing totally different,” Kerr stated.
There remains to be time for the Warriors to discover themselves. And, regardless that Curry says they cannot relaxation on their laurels and count on the whole lot to click on instantly, there’s a degree of consolation given their expertise.
And that’s what’s holding them from worrying.
“We’ve received a core group that has received titles,” Kerr stated. “I have nice religion in all these guys. They’ve been by the whole lot collectively and so they’ve had nice success. It’s a protracted haul to get by the NBA season … it is not straightforward. But I have little doubt that we have sufficient. And these guys know the way to get it executed.”