End of win streak brings some relief to Warriors


End of win streak brings some relief to Warriors

OAKLAND – No team ever wants to lose a game, but the Warriors grudgingly admitted Monday, after two days of reflection, that the first blemish on their previously perfect record brings a measure of relief.

It took coach Luke Walton, who initially said no part of him welcomed the end of their win streaks – 24 in a row this season, 28 overall – a while to realize this can be a positive.

“I think with the streak being over,” he told CSNBayArea.com after a long pause, “we can get back to focusing on some smaller, more important, detail things. Obviously, you don’t want the streak to be over because of how much fun it is.

“But, I guess, to answer your question, there’s a little part of me that knows we’re going to get some better work in, now that the streak is over.”

[POOLE: With playoff-type pressure off, Warriors can start regular season]

Stephen Curry, whose already impressive legend grew noticeably during the streaks, said he was delighted to be home and, yes, there is a positive way to look at the streak-snapping loss at Milwaukee on Saturday.

“It’s hard to say that, because you never wanted to see it end,” Curry said. “It was never like a burden for us to keep the streak going, because every game was fun and a new challenge. And winning is fun. So it never became something we didn’t want to have to deal with.

“But we’re changing the perspective now. Being 24-1 is a little different than undefeated. You don’t have to answer questions about it and, hopefully, no more creative shirts in the stands. We can just play basketball.”

At 24-1, the Warriors still have a commanding lead on the rest of the NBA. And they’ll be home for two full weeks, playing five games over that span.

[POOLE: Rewind: Warriors reflect on unfamiliar spot with loss]

Being the top sports story on the planet for two full weeks did push the team’s patience and resolve, Walton conceded.

“The focus is in so many other places,” he said. “There’s a million media around. Everyone is talking about this and that . . . and being on the road doesn’t help us either. I think these next two weeks are going to be good for us.”

The Warriors open their homestand Wednesday night, when the meet the Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena.

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson looks forward to guarding James Harden

Warriors' Juan Toscano-Anderson looks forward to guarding James Harden

James Harden scored 29 points on 16 field-goal attempts the last time the Warriors faced the Houston Rockets back on Feb. 20. Houston won that game 135-105, and it sounds like Golden State's Juan Toscano-Anderson was looking forward to the rematch.

With the NBA season indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Toscano-Anderson and the Warriors have some free time on their hands. Toscano-Anderson made use of it by holding a Q&A on Twitter on Saturday night, at which time he was asked which player -- whether teammate or opponent -- he was most looking forward to playing with or against when the season starts back up.

Toscano-Anderson provided multiple answers.

"Excited to get our whole team back to full strength," Toscano-Anderson replied. "I was very excited to guard James Harden."

Well, you've got to appreciate the fact that he's not afraid of a challenge. There might not be a tougher player to guard than Harden in the entire league, but then again, Toscano-Anderson didn't finally establish himself as an NBA player this season by taking the easy way out.

[RELATED: Toscano-Anderson reveals all-time Warriors starting five]

The Warriors and Rockets were scheduled to play each other for a fourth and final time this season in Houston on April 2. Obviously, that particular game won't take place on that day, but whether it is postponed or canceled, Toscano-Anderson surely will have more opportunities to try to make things harder on Harden.

Seven candidates for Warriors' massive Andre Iguodala trade exception


Seven candidates for Warriors' massive Andre Iguodala trade exception

The Warriors don't know if or when the current NBA season will resume, much less the next one. But whenever the 2020-21 season takes place, they'll likely have used several assets at their disposal with which to return to a level of legitimate contention.

But in terms of the Warriors' asset that likely will have the greatest determining impact on their success next season, the $17.2 million trade exception they received for sending Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies last summer stands apart from the rest.

Trade exceptions cannot be combined with others, so through the Iguodala trade exception, Golden State cannot acquire a player making more than $17.2 million (technically, it's $17,185,185.) However, trade exceptions can be split, so the Warriors could theoretically use the Iguodala trade exception to acquire multiple players, as long as their combined salaries don't exceed that amount.

While Golden State should absolutely be able to acquire a good player with that trade exception, the Dubs will have the added challenge of only having a tight window with which to use it. Once the league moratorium concludes at noon ET on July 6 (as currently scheduled), the Warriors will only have until the end of the following day to utilize the exception in a trade. They cannot use it prior to the moratorium, though in theory, they could agree to a trade at any point along the way.

Given the indefinite league stoppage due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it's possible that Golden State will be granted some kind of an extension to use the Iguodala trade exception, but there is no guarantee. Whenever it expires, however, the Warriors would be wise to use it on one of the following seven players prior to that point.