The season is unraveling for the Warriors at a really bad time, writes Kendra Andrews of ESPN. Golden State fell to the Lakers Saturday night, extending its losing streak to four games for the first time this season. The team has fallen into third place in the Western Conference after going 2-8 in its last 10 games, and Stephen Curry understands that something needs to change.
“We cannot give in to this losing mentality,” he said. “We’re not that team, and I’m not going to let us be that team. … We cannot give in to this losing spirit of just finding different ways to lose basketball games. We have 18 games left, we have to figure out how to turn things around pretty quick.”
The Warriors are dealing with a variety of issue, with the most notable being the absence of Draymond Green, who hasn’t played since January 9 but hopes to be back in “a couple weeks.” However, the problems go beyond Green, Andrews adds, as Golden State has been struggling with missed free throws, a drop in bench production and executing late in games, which coach Steve Kerr blamed for Saturday’s loss.
“I thought we had several chances to really break this game open,” Kerr said. “This has kind of been a pattern during this bad spell for us. We are not stepping on teams when they are down. We are making mistakes and allowing teams to hang around. And when you do that in this league, you’re dead.”
There’s more on the Warriors:
- Another concern is a shooting slump by Klay Thompson, who is going through his worst stretch since returning from a long injury-related layoff, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Thompson was just 3-of-13 Saturday night, including an important miss on a wide open three in the final two minutes. “Klay’s pressing,” Kerr said. “He got into a pretty good groove over the month or so before the All-Star break, and I feel like the sickness, the illness that kept him out of a couple of games probably affected his conditioning and his timing. So, he struggled the last two games. He’ll get it back.”
- The Warriors are getting quality minutes from their young players, but many of the veterans they signed during the offseason aren’t producing right now, Slater adds. Andre Iguodala has only played one six-minute stretch since January 20, Nemanja Bjelica is losing his spot in the rotation and Otto Porter Jr. hasn’t been the same since January ended.
- Kerr expressed frustration over the league’s decision to schedule a make-up game Monday at Denver and said he won’t have Curry, Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and possibly a few other players make the trip, according to Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area. “We are not sending a lot of our players to Denver,” Kerr said. “The decision was pretty easy. Throwing that game (originally scheduled for December 30) into the schedule the way the league did after that game was postponed and then going back to Denver — three games in four nights, with two of those games being back and forth, we’re not gonna put our high-minutes guys at risk.”