BOSTON — For the primary three quarters of the Golden State Warriors’ sport in opposition to the Boston Celtics on Thursday, Stephen Curry and firm appeared like themselves. Coach Steve Kerr went so far as to say they appeared like a championship group.
But then, within the fourth quarter and thru time beyond regulation, every part 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 via the season and simply 5-18 on the highway.
“We’re capable, but it’s a matter of execution and being able to sustain it,” Curry stated. “There’s another level to get to that we haven’t gotten [to] in terms of putting together a full 48 minutes.”
The Warriors are in full search mode. They have been all season. And to date, they’ve discovered virtually nothing.
They aren’t panicking or exhibiting a substantial amount of concern, at the least publicly. Klay Thompson is resting on their long-adopted mindset of: If we make it to the playoffs wholesome, we will beat anybody.
To a sure diploma, they nonetheless consider this to be true. But there’s additionally an understanding that this season isn’t like some other.
“Last year [we] started 18-2, we had some rough patches but at least you had a segment of the season that you could say we figured it out,” Curry stated after Golden State misplaced to the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 15. “We might have had a game or two, but we have not had a stretch where consistently we can say we have figured it out. You’re going to lose games from time to time … But a lot of it is self-inflicted or not being able to prove we have the identity that we need.”
Golden State can file its sport in opposition to the Celtics beneath the umbrella Curry was speaking about.
For nearly all of their dynastic run over the previous 10 years, the Warriors grew to become recognized for his or her huge third quarters. They configured completely different variations of closing small-ball lineups that they dubbed “death lineups.” The “Strength In Numbers” slogan was well-earned.
But this season, all of it appears off.
Thursday’s sport in Boston noticed one in every of their higher third quarters shortly, however they weren’t capable of slam the door shut. Their bench hasn’t been practically as productive as final season.
“There has to be a sense of urgency but I don’t think we’re playing that way… If you don’t have a consistent level of urgency then you are going to lose,” Draymond Green stated after their loss in Chicago.
He continued: “I think the point [where we’ll turn a corner] will come, but you’ve got to build toward it. You can’t take two steps forward, or three steps back. It’s got to be a constant build … that constant build has not started.”
Golden State is way from the primary group with title aspirations to be treading water on the halfway level of the season. Just a yr in the past, the Celtics discovered themselves with a 25-25 report via 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 rest of the common season on their strategy to the NBA Finals.
The Warriors will now look to comply with an identical script, and one they’re aware of themselves.
Two seasons in the past with out Thompson, Golden State hovered round .500 earlier than profitable 15 of their final 20 video games, finally shedding within the play-in match.
The Warriors have not expressed precisely what’s holding them again. They’ve stated they do not know why they can not string good video games — or perhaps a collection of excellent choices, in some circumstances — collectively.
Kerr took step one in looking for a spark for his group by switching his beginning lineup in opposition to the Celtics, one thing he stated he’ll persist with for now. Jordan Poole began instead of Kevon Looney, becoming a member of Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Curry and Green.
“We’re past the halfway point and we’re .500. Let’s try something different,” Kerr stated.
There continues to be time for the Warriors to seek out themselves. And, despite the fact that Curry says they can not relaxation on their laurels and count on every part to click on all of the sudden, there’s a stage of consolation given their expertise.
And that’s what’s retaining them from caring.
“We’ve got a core group that has won titles,” Kerr stated. “I have great faith in all those guys. They’ve been through everything together and they’ve had great success. It’s a long haul to get through the NBA season … it’s not easy. But I have no doubt that we have enough. And those guys know how to get it done.”