Warriors Face Backlash After Play-In Clincher: ‘Have Some Shame’

Stephen Curry

Getty Stephen Curry during a March 29 game against the Charlotte Hornets.

Following the Houston Rockets‘ loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors are playoff-bound. But they’ll have to compete in the play-in tournament first.

That’s cause for celebration in the Bay.

Or at least, it is for the Warriors’ social team. They posted a graphic on the team’s Twitter account, celebrating the clinch on April 7.

Warriors fans…were less enthusiastic.

In between four championships since 2015, Stephen Curry and company have missed the postseason just twice, and both down years can be credited to injury.

It’s safe to say an expectation has been built in the Bay, by fans and players alike.

Which is why fans roasted the team’s Twitter account in response to the tweet:

“Have some shame,” wrote Sam Esfandiari, co-host of the “Light Years Pod” on Blue Wire.

“We used to raise banners,” wrote Alex, @Dubs408 on Twitter.

“I’d rather have a banner raising ceremony for a summer league title than tweet this,” said columnist for The Athletic, Seth Partnow.

User Evanem (@evanempdx on Twitter) wrote “Congrats on being in the top 66% of the western conference!”

Times are changing in the Bay.

For better or for worse?

Warriors’ Championship Odds Still High

ESPN has the Golden State Warriors’ 2023-2024 title odds at +6000, 12th in the NBA.

Given their standing with the 19th-best record in the NBA, that’s mighty generous. Their championship history can be credited for the at-least, average, title odds.

Golden State’s also on a run to end the year, having won seven in 10 games.

That’s despite being a little banged up, with Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga dealing with nagging injuries.

Kuminga Returning for Warriors

After missing six consecutive games with knee tendinitis, Kuminga is returning for the April 7 matchup with the Utah Jazz.

The 21-year-old forward has been one of the league’s most improved players this season, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 70 games this season.

Kuminga is an integral part of this Warriors lineup. They’ll need him for any playoff run. Golden State is 25-19 when the former lottery pick appears in the starting five this season.

In 337 possessions where Kuminga joins Andrew Wiggins, Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, the Warriors are outscoring opponents by 18.1 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.

And if you swap Thompson for rookie Brandin Podziemski, the output is still top of the league: +12.5, scoring 119.5 points per 100 possessions, and allowing 107.

That’s through 488 possessions, and the defensive line ranks in the 97th percentile.

Jonathan Kuminga’s return is one of the final puzzle pieces that resemble that of the Golden State Warriors title hopes. But he’s not the player in the wind as the season winds down.

Wiggins Still Sidelined

Andrew Wiggins, arguably the third-best player on the Warriors’ most recent championship team in 2022, has missed consecutive games with left ankle soreness.

His absence isn’t as critical as Kuminga’s, which is a turn of the tables from recent history. But head coach Steve Kerr and the coaching staff are likely confident in Wiggins’ picking up the pace in the postseason.

Or at least, they’re hoping so.

On the year, Wiggins is averaging 13 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. Those are all lower than his 2022-2023 averages.

He’s seen a major dip in his shooting percentages too. Wiggins shot 47 percent from the field and 39 percent from three last year.

This season he’s hitting just 45 percent from the field, and 35 percent from three.

Per Cleaning the Glass, in 2,397 possessions with Wiggins on the floor, and Kuminga off, Golden State is: being outscored by 2.4 points per 100 possessions.

If you swap the two, those numbers jump, with the Warriors outscoring opponents by 4.1 points in 2,471 possessions.

Regardless of the analytics, Wiggins is a player who’s become a part of Kerr’s system. As one of the greatest coaches of all time, he’ll find the adjustments that work with both players healthy and on the floor.

He’s going to have to, if the Warriors (unlike their social media team) are focused beyond the play-in tournament and on a deep playoff run.