Golden State Warriors fans should appreciate the last three years, because the Warriors are not going to win 67 plus games with this crop again. Theoretically, they absolutely could. And, this “Dream Team,” as it has been called, was expected by many to win game after game, because they have the ability to.
Yet, winning to that extent requires talent and unreal night to night effort. The Warriors have a few more games before the NBA breaks for All-Star Weekend. Steve Kerr publicly yearned for the mental vacation as his team continues to lose in statement games.
Kerr well knows that going into the playoffs with a banged up, mentally exhausted team is not really how you win championships. And the Warriors learned that the hard way in 2016. While they finished with the best record in NBA history with a final mark of 73-9, one win better than Michael Jordan’s 1995-1996 Bulls, they ran out of gas at the worst time possible – the NBA Finals.
The hot take is teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets have the Warriors’ number and Golden State will have a difficult time in the 2018 playoffs. However, if you consider the play, the matchups, and the coaching of the Golden State Warriors — it is not that simple.
Most (if not all) of the starters have made bad passes or threw the ball away mindlessly. The turnovers have killed the Warriors in a big way. However, Kerr’s adjustments have been curious. As an example, Steve Kerr took Draymond Green out because he threw a couple of errant passes. He did not allow him to play through it. Green can switch, force contested jumpers and time his protection rim well. Historically, against Oklahoma City, Russ Westbrook becomes a monster offensively without Draymond Green. And, again, without Green defending him, Westbrook absolutely abused Patrick McCaw and Kevon Looney.
But, here is the thing. It is February and Steve Kerr doesn’t care about statement games.
The Warriors are still going to win 60 plus games this season, but there seems to be a lack of perspective among Dubs fans. 60 plus regular season games is a great season. Sure, it is not 73 or 67, but the narrative the Warriors will struggle in the playoffs should be taken with a grain of salt.
The Warriors need to improve their defense and get back into forcing tempo off shots. But, Kerr has got to let the guys work out the kinks instead of playing it safe. And, once the time comes, when the game matters — the Golden State Warriors will turn up the intensity and win when it really counts.