Warrior fans were optimistic.
The Dubs went into the All-Star Break having lost four of five. Many thought the break would help wash away all the sins and bad juju. Even players like Kevon Looney talked about how his teammates and himself thought the break was much needed.
Well, the break is over and the losses keep coming. The Warriors only managed to beat the hapless Blazers since returning from the break.
After getting blown out by the Timberwolves, Golden State now holds just a half game lead over the flourishing Grizzles for the second seed, and with how the Dubs are played as of lately, they could easily fall down to fourth pretty soon.
“We’ve had a lot of shuffling going on,” Curry said after the game. “It’s not an excuse for how we’re playing, but it’s also like our young guys and the opportunity that they have to be able to see that night in and night out. It worked in the first half of season, and it hasn’t been there as consistently with our guys, but we are built as a full team. And until we get that, I’m not sure if we’ll see our full ceiling, but we have to do the little things in the meantime to keep building confidence.”
The Dubs definitely have been reeling with key guys missing. The core veterans of Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have not been around. The absence of those key voices is magnified on road trips. Curry understands they have to remain patient until the reinforcements come back, but the regular season is starting to run out.
Steve Kerr Blames the Second Unit
Outside of Curry, the Dubs have been lacking for offense to support the MVP. Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole, the second and third options on offense, have struggled for some time. Both of them have failed to score at least 20 points in one full calendar month.
The starters played well in the first quarter. But once Steph Curry left the game for his first break with about four minutes and change left in the first quarter, the Wolves went on a 13-3 run to close the quarter.
“Lead in the first quarter,” Steve Kerr explains after the loss. “Game sorta got away from us when we went to our bench. We just didn’t have a great effort from the second unit. They weren’t connected tonight, what was probably the most disappointing part of the game for me was just a lack of connection on both ends all night by the second group.”
The coaching staff tried to mix the bench up by playing the seldom used Juan Toscano-Anderson 22 minutes. JTA has really only been used this season when Kerr wants to jumpstart the team with more energy and awareness on the floor.
Ironically, the Dubs bench was only outscored 48-46 by the Wolves bench, but Kerr emphasized how it was the intangible variable of continuity hat really disappointed him.
“Tonight, was the first time I sensed there was a breakdown in our connection,” Kerr continues about the team’s synergy. “That has to be an exception rather than a rule. That’s the most important thing for me looking ahead to Dallas and the rest of the trip is our guys need to be connected. There’s just gotta be one goal, and that’s to play together and win the game. We can’t get afraid.”
Moses Moody Eye is Swollen Shut
The rookie out of Arkansas got the start due to matchup purposes. He got off to a good start, scoring six points in seven minutes. Unfortunately, his night was short lived.
While guarding Karl Anthony-Towns, Moody took an inadvertent elbow to the eye. The rookie went down immediately and never returned to the game.
“He got poked in the eye,” Kerr tells reporters. “I think he got elbowed by Towns on the drive, and he went up to go vertical and he got elbowed in the eye. And it’s pretty bad—his eye is swollen shut.”
According to Bob Myers, Klay Thompson is expected back with the team for Thursday’s game, so hopefully if Moody is forced to miss time, it won’t hurt the Warriors too much for now. Regardless, hopefully Moody returns to action as soon as possible.