PHOENIX – Over the past 10 years, the Golden State Warriors have built a dynasty on free play, competitive play, and a sense of teamwork that rarely wavers.
However, after only 15 games into the season, everything seems to be falling apart.
On Wednesday, the Warriors suffered their last blow, a 130-119 loss to the Phoenix Suns that dropped them 0-8 on the road to starting a season for the first time since 1989-90, when they started 0-9. It is also the longest road losing streak by a defending champion since the 1998-99 Chicago Bulls, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
“Forget the road record, we can’t find a sustainable period of success where habits start to form and we’re in a situation where we come off the field feeling good about ourselves,” said Stephen Curry, who posted his eleventh number one. His career-high 50 points tied Allen Iverson for ninth all-time.
The word “scatter” was used several times during the Warriors’ postgame press conference when describing the state of the team, referring to the lack of communication and buying from each player.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said the team is not on the same page.
“It’s a little game,” Kerr said. “There is no execution at either end, and there is no specific obligation for the group to obtain three consecutive stoppages for carrying out an offense.”
Kerr said he wanted to take most of the responsibility, saying he had “failed” to get his team together and give them something they could “shoot collectively for”.
But Curry also took on some responsibility as team captain.
“I’m scoring great goals, I’m trying to be efficient and I’ll continue to do that,” Curry said. “But there is a collective kind of mentality about how I need to help everyone get into the right frame of mind to try to win and I’m up for the challenge of figuring that out.”
It’s hard to point a finger at Carey. He has been dragging his team through the early part of the season.
The eight-time All-Star hit 17 of 28 shots, 7 of 11 from 3-point range, becoming the eighth oldest player to record a 50-point game, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
However, the Warriors have lost 11 times. Of the 11 50-point games in Curry’s career, this is the third time Golden State has lost. This is the first match they lose by double digits when they have scored at least 40.
Through the Warriors’ first 15 games of the season, Curry did everything he could to give them a chance to win, averaging 32.8 points in shooting splits of 53-45-93. Curry is the only player to average 30-point shooting 50-40-90 in a single season, and he did so in 2015-16, when he won a unanimous MVP award.
However, Golden State ranked 12th in the Western Conference with a 6-9 record.
Curry scored nearly half of Golden State’s points on Wednesday, with nine other active players combining for the rest and the bench scoring just 17.
Klay Thompson’s early season struggles continued as he finished with 19 points but shot 6 of 17. Meanwhile, Jordan Paul went scoreless in the wake of his best game of the season.
The Warriors’ lack of cohesion is mainly seen on the defensive side, which in turn also prevented them from finding an offensive rhythm.
They are 27th in defensive efficiency this season after finishing second last season, and allow 12.8 more points per game this season than last season.
Against the Suns, the Warriors gave up at least 125 points for the sixth time this season—the most in a 15-game season since 1982-83—and 70 points in the first half for the fourth time. One of those other times was also against Phoenix in late October.
“We lack collective will,” Kerr said. “We are playing a league game now.”
“I’ve always felt like the game rewards you if you stick with the game. If you two are really competitive, shots go, calls go your way, breaks come your way, and we don’t earn any of that stuff. That’s why we don’t beat the road. It’s a little game.” .
Before their game against San Antonio on Monday, Kerr said the Warriors are still trying to find the momentum that comes when a team is connected on and off the field. After the loss in Phoenix, he said the group lacked the ability to “put it all together.” [off-court] Backseat stuff and just commitment to winning the game.”
Warriors insist they are not intimidated. But they also know they’re not doing themselves any favors, and every opponent they face is poised to beat a team that has been wreaking havoc on the league for the past decade.
“It’s a struggle now, keeping it real,” Carey said. “We have to understand that it’s going to be really difficult to extricate yourself from the situation we’re in because there are so many issues.”
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