With their road to setting a new regular season record becoming more and more difficult, the Golden State Warriors are showing all the signs of a team bored of playing for “nothing”. Stephen Curry looks exhausted, but we say that after every one of those bad games. Draymond Green and Steve Kerr think it’s a different problem.
The Warriors lost for the ninth time this season, 124-117 at home, in overtime, to the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was the first time this season they dropped a 15-point lead and also their first overtime loss. They shot just 34.3% from beyond the arc (not too bad of a number, but when you shoot 35 times it’s an issue) while Stephen Curry shot an uncharacteristic 7-for-25 from the field and 4-for-14 from three, making up for it with 15 assists. Little secret: The bigger problem for the Warriors were minutes their bench players gave them and their defense, but it’s easier to appeal to people by saying Curry looked bad.
Are the Warriors tired physically from chasing the 73-win goal, which now they have to win out in order to achieve? Does it even matter? The championship, as Steve Kerr keeps saying, is what really matters. Would anyone still be talking about the 72-10 Chicago Bulls from 1995-1996 had they not won the championship that year, kicking off a second three-peat in the Jackson-Jordan-Pippen era? Players want the record, but it won’t mean that much without a second consecutive NBA title.
From Green’s point of view, this is nothing but the team losing focus because they’re bored, and can’t wait for the playoff to start. The self appointed bad guy of the group (both for not holding back when talking and some of the things he does on the court), Green doesn’t think the Warriors are slipping as a team in terms of ability. This is nothing to worry about.
It’s human nature to where, all right, kind of ready for the regular season to end. Talking 82 games, we get bored with that after awhile. And that’s no excuse, just, I’m always give it to y’all real, and that’s about as real as I can be. It’s kind of at a point now where you’re ready for the regular season to be over. Now, saying that, we got to be a better enough ballclub to continue to try to get better with these games and try and go into the playoffs the right way and not stumble in the playoffs, so, think that’s something we have to focus on. We got to try to finish out this regular season strong.
Steve Kerr has said a number of times that the media attention over the record is getting a little bit to the players, maybe more than physically, mentally. He recalls the Bulls had difficulties late in the season when breaking the Los Angeles Lakers 69-wins record. Kerr possibly doesn’t remember those Bulls lost just twice in April, and both of those losses by just one point. But the hype, according to Green too, could be causing problems, as they lose two of their last three at home.
The Warriors now have two games against the Memphis Grizzlies, who have won just three times in their last 13 games and might not have much to play for at some point and twice against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs might rest some of their players in at least one of the games, but they’re probably going to give it their best shot when protecting home court, trying to be the first team to finish the season undefeated on their home court.