Finding themselves with a 15-18 overall record, as well as being 3-16 on the road this season, the Golden State Warriors are really struggling to prove that they have what it takes to win another title.
With a ton of change in their second-unit, younger players earning more time on the floor and the Warriors dealing with injuries, it is clear to see why they have struggled at times, but overall now over 30 games into the season, it is time to begin asking if this team has what it takes to contend in the Western Conference.
“Yes, it is. We all know that Steph Curry is out, we understand that. The greatest shooter God has ever created, an MVP candidate as far as I am concerned before he got injured…We expected more from Klay [Thompson] consistently and that hasn’t been there. I like Jordan Poole a lot and I am happy he got his money. It is time to earn it my brother. Here is the reality of the situation. If I am Joe Lacob, if I’m Bob Myers, I am disgusted with what I am seeing. Yes, they are the defending reigning champions and they deserve a lot of credit for that. But what we need to recognize is you don’t just get paid for what you’ve done. You get paid for what you’re projected to do moving forward and there is no way that they signed up for this… We ain’t talking about a loss now, we’re talking about getting your a– kicked. I mean come on, it’s embarrassing.” – Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take
The Warriors lost by 38 points to the Knicks, followed by 30 points to the Nets on back-to-back days, joining the 1998-99 Chicago Bulls as the only other defending champion in NBA history to lose back-to-back games by 30-plus points.
Their 40-point halftime deficit to the Nets the other night was also the largest halftime deficit by a defending champion in NBA history according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Finding ways to get better defensively and play tougher is the only way the Warriors will have a chance to find success right now, especially with Steph Curry out.
Their Christmas Day game against the Memphis Grizzlies in San Francisco will be very important for Golden State not only from a team morale standpoint, but since they will have a chance to prove on national television that they are still the defending champions.
Streaming on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, The Fast Break Podcast takes you inside the league with the latest news, intel, rumors and interviews from those close to the action for all 30 teams. Be on the lookout for a new episodes every Friday.