The Golden State Warriors are having a tough time of it this season. The glitz and glamour around their 2022 title run have vanished after their 15-18 start to the season. They’re an uncharacteristic 3-16 on the road without Stephen Curry (shoulder) and Andrew Wiggins (abductor strain), and their schedule won’t lighten up despite an upcoming eight-game homestand.
They’re also 1-5 on their latest trip, highlighted by back-to-back blowout losses to the Knicks (132-94) and Nets (143-113).
“You are what your record says you are,” Kerr said, per ESPN. “It was a bad road trip. We are 15-18, so we’re a below-.500 team, and we’ve got to find a way to reverse that.”
Steve Kerr: “Bad road trip. We are 15-18. We’re a below .500 team. Gotta figure out a way to reverse that.” pic.twitter.com/FdgK0TZH7O— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 22, 2022
The Warriors gave up a 29-point lead in the first quarter, the second-worst deficit in franchise history, and they scored 17 points, the second-fewest in an opening frame this season. The Dubs also allowed the Nets to score a Brooklyn-record 91 points in the first half, becoming the third time in League history to score 91 points through the first half.
The 40-point lead Brooklyn held over Golden State was also a franchise record. The point differential is also the largest halftime deficit by a defending champion in the history of the NBA.
“That first half, it was kind of a shock,” Draymond Green told ESPN.
One way the Warriors can address their struggles is by cutting down on turnovers. They turned the ball over 13 times in the first and finished the night with 21, with Brooklyn scoring 36 points off those miscues. Another would be picking up the energy and allowing it to help them play more organized fashion on both ends of the floor.
Those changes will likely have to come from Jordan Poole (13 points on 4-17 shooting, 1-11 from beyond the arc, and seven turnovers) and James Wiseman (30 points on 12-14 shooting in 27 minutes). That means Wiseman will likely have to continue to play at a consistently high level as he did on Wednesday. The Warriors can deal with Poole figuring out how to adjust to playing as a scouting report focus, but they likely need him to refind the magic he possessed last season.
“The simpler [he] plays, the easier shots [he] gets. It sounds like a bit of a paradox, but it’s been an issue here for us the past few games,” Kerr said. “The last couple of nights [he was] just trying way too hard.”
For now, the Warriors are stuck in a weird place while they figure out their win-and-develop-now ethos. For Green, that means Golden State must keep their cool over this stretch without Curry in the lineup. As well as Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green, and maintaining Klay Thompson for the long haul.
“You have to have that understanding because you don’t want to overreact,” Green told ESPN. “In saying that, the most important thing is always playing right; as long as you’re not making effort-related mistakes, you live with the results — we just have to understand where we are.”