No team navigates an entire NBA season without a few bumps in the road, but the last three weeks have proven the rockiest yet for the Golden State Warriors.
It has fallen to Steph Curry to shoulder an overwhelming amount of the offensive workload through the Dubs’ recent down stretch due to a confluence of factors. Draymond Green has missed the team’s previous 24 games with a back injury, while Klay Thompson sat out the last two contests because of an illness. All told, Thompson has missed a total of three outings over the previous eight.
To make matters worse, both All-Star Andrew Wiggins and occasional starter Jordan Poole have struggled of late. Wiggins has failed to put up 20 points in a game since January, while Poole has been inconsistent resulting in less playing time and a rift with head coach Steve Kerr.
After the Warriors most recent loss March 1 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Curry took to the podium and addressed the issues both Wiggins and Poole have tried to battle through over the team’s troublesome stretch. Anthony Slater of The Athletic posted Curry’s comments online Tuesday night via a Twitter video.
“I think I said this the other night, we just need aggression. I was talking about Jordan [Poole]. We just need aggression,” Curry said. “[Wiggins] is capable, obviously. We know what kind of scorer, athlete he is, and the way he can get it a lot of different ways. We obviously need to figure out if that’s the sets we’re calling to get him in the right position, if that’s him being more assertive and demanding the ball, certain matchups, stuff like that.
“That’s what we expect,” Curry continued. “And I expect him to respond.”
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Warriors Struggles Manifest in Unprecedented 2022 Losing Stretch
Without the consistent assistance necessary from a roster full of injured and slumping players, Curry was unable to keep the Dubs’ collective head above water through much of February.
Golden State has lost six of its last eight matchups, an unprecedented stretch of losing to this point in the season and one that came directly on the heels of a Dubs’ nine-game winning streak. The failure has been symmetrical, with three losses coming on the road and three at Chase Center in San Francisco.
The Warriors have also uncharacteristically failed to even be competitive in half of their recent defeats, losing three games by at least 15 points or more since February 9.
Warriors Hitting Tough Portion of Schedule on West Road Trip
Unfortunately for the Warriors, things could get worse before they get better. The Timberwolves were Golden State’s first stop on a four-game road stretch that will lead through the Mavericks in Dallas, the Nuggets in Denver and finish up in Southern California against LeBron James and a desperate Los Angeles Lakers team.
The good news is that Thompson should return to the court as soon Thursday against the Mavericks, and Green is traveling and practicing with the Dubs on this road trip, though he is not expected to play. Still, it may not be enough for the Warriors (43-19) to hold off MVP candidate Ja Morant and the surging Memphis Grizzlies (43-20) who are just a half-game back for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with approximately 20 games left in the regular season.
It was Memphis that ultimately knocked Golden State out of the playoffs last year via the NBA’s final Play-In Tournament game. The Warriors will square off against the Grizzlies just once more this season in a March 28 showdown in Memphis.