12:38 AM ET
BOSTON — For the primary three quarters of the Golden State Warriors’ recreation 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 crew.
However then, within the fourth quarter and thru extra time, all the things they’d put collectively unraveled … once more.
And now after a 121-118 loss to the Celtics, the Warriors sit at 22-23 midway by the season and simply 5-18 on the highway.
“We’re succesful, but it surely’s a matter of execution and with the ability to maintain it,” Curry stated. “There’s one other degree to get to that we have not gotten [to] when it comes to placing collectively a full 48 minutes.”
The Warriors are in full search mode. They’ve been all season. And thus far, they’ve discovered virtually nothing.
They don’t seem to be panicking or displaying a substantial amount of concern, a minimum of 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. However there’s additionally an understanding that this season just isn’t like another.
“Final 12 months [we] began 18-2, we had some tough patches however a minimum of you had a section of the season that you may say we figured it out,” Curry stated after Golden State misplaced to the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 15. “We’d have had a recreation or two, however we have now not had a stretch the place persistently we will say we have now figured it out. You are going to lose video games infrequently … However a variety of it’s self-inflicted or not with the ability to show we have now the identification that we’d like.”
Golden State can file its recreation in opposition to the Celtics underneath the umbrella Curry was speaking about.
The Golden State Warriors dropped to 22-23 and an abysmal 5-18 on the highway after a loss to the Boston Celtics. Picture by Maddie Meyer/Getty Photos
For almost all of their dynastic run over the previous 10 years, the Warriors grew to become identified for his or her large third quarters. They configured completely different variations of closing small-ball lineups that they dubbed “demise lineups.” The “Energy In Numbers” slogan was well-earned.
However this season, all of it appears off.
Thursday’s recreation in Boston noticed one in all their higher third quarters shortly, however they weren’t in a position to slam the door shut. Their bench hasn’t been almost as productive as final season.
“There needs to be a way of urgency however I do not suppose we’re taking part in that method… If you do not have a constant degree of urgency then you’ll lose,” Draymond Inexperienced stated after their loss in Chicago.
He continued: “I feel the purpose [where we’ll turn a corner] will come, however you have to construct towards it. You may’t take two steps ahead, or three steps again. It is bought to be a continuing construct … that fixed construct has not began.”
Golden State is way from the primary crew with title aspirations to be treading water on the halfway level of the season. Only a 12 months in the past, the Celtics discovered themselves with a 25-25 report by 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 approach to the NBA Finals.
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The Warriors will now look to comply with an identical script, and one they’re conversant in themselves.
Two seasons in the past with out Thompson, Golden State hovered round .500 earlier than profitable 15 of their final 20 video games, ultimately dropping 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 cannot string good video games — or perhaps a collection of excellent choices, in some instances — collectively.
Kerr took step one in looking for a spark for his crew by switching his beginning lineup in opposition to the Celtics, one thing he stated he’ll follow for now. Jordan Poole began rather than Kevon Looney, becoming a member of Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Curry and Inexperienced.
“We’re previous the midway level and we’re .500. Let’s strive one thing completely different,” Kerr stated.
There’s nonetheless time for the Warriors to seek out themselves. And, regardless that Curry says they cannot relaxation on their laurels and count on all the things to click on immediately, there’s a degree of consolation given their expertise.
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And that’s what’s conserving them from caring.
“We have a core group that has received titles,” Kerr stated. “I’ve nice religion in all these guys. They have been by all the things collectively and so they’ve had nice success. It is a lengthy haul to get by the NBA season … it is not straightforward. However I’ve little question that we have now sufficient. And people guys know the right way to get it finished.”