The Golden State Warriors are moving toward overcoming their championship hangover, but the team still has some kinks to work out, and is not playing anywhere near the otherworldly level it was at during the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
Golden State began the season having lost two of its first three games, but then used a winning streak to climb the standings. The team has also been dealing with minor injuries to both Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, so it’s unfair to really look at them under a microscope at the current time.
Still, the Warriors have struggled to take care of the basketball, and that has been an underlying theme so far this season. Heading into Wednesday’s game against the Lakers, the team was ranked 25th in the league in turnovers, and was averaging 16.4 per game. And they’ll likely drop a few spots due to their inability to take care of the ball in Wednesday’s matchup.
The Warriors turned the ball over 22 times in the overtime win, which is certainly not indicative of a championship team. Head coach Steve Kerr expressed his discontent over the team’s “galling” turnovers in speaking to reporters after the game, and also called out his players for not competing on Wednesday, as well as during the season up to this point.
“I don’t think we competed tonight,” Kerr said, via a video produced by Mark Medina of The Mercury News. “I don’t think we’ve competed that well all year, just the way it is right now.”
Kerr also had this to say about the team’s performance in Wednesday’s game:
“There were some mind-boggling plays out there [tonight] … We’ve gotta be able to take better care of the ball and make better decisions,” he said.
Kerr is likely trying to light a fire under his players to motivate them to play better, which is understandable. As for the (16-6) Warriors, they’re still 10 games above .500, and should continue to improve as the season progresses. If they can avoid the injury bug, we’ll be shocked if they haven’t returned to their dominant form by the time spring rolls around.
It’s not about how you start, but how you finish, and the Warriors closed out last season with a 16-1 record in the playoffs en route to winning a title. But we can’t fault Kerr for wanting his players to compete at a high level on a nightly basis.