The Warriors limped into the NBA All-Star break with a 134-124 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night, a defeat that brought their record back to .500 (29-29) yet again.
The defending champions sit in ninth place in the packed Western Conference. Just one game separates Golden State from 11th place in the conference, a position that would have them miss the play-in tournament altogether.
The Warriors' struggles haven't swayed the opinion of sharpshooter Klay Thompson, however.
“I still love our chances to repeat,” Thompson said Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. “I’m never going to lose confidence in this team. We’ve been through too much together and we know what it takes to win the whole thing.”
The Feb. 9 trade deadline significantly shook up the West. The Phoenix Suns made the biggest splash by trading for Kevin Durant, while the Dallas Mavericks acquired his former running mate in Brooklyn, Kyrie Irving, to pair with Luka Dončić.
Elsewhere in the conference, Nikola Jokić and the Denver Nuggets still sit comfortably in the top spot. The Memphis Grizzlies recently have struggled but still look like a team that will be playing deep into the spring. The Sacramento Kings, one of the NBA's best stories this season, have proven they belong toward the top of the standings.
If the playoffs began Tuesday, the Warriors would have to win two contests just to earn the right to play in a best-of-seven series.
“The West is stacked,” Thompson said. “But at the end of the day, you’ve got to go through what you’ve got to go through to win the whole thing. Whether that’s in the Finals or in the first round, there’s incredible talent.
“There are really no rounds off. There’s no gimmes.”
Golden State will rest for eight days before returning to the court next Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers. Steph Curry, missing time with a left leg injury, will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break.
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The Warriors need to hold down the fort and keep the team in contention until their leader returns.
“We’ve got to clean up a few things and re-lock in,” Warriors guard Jordan Poole said Tuesday. “Use this week as a mental get away and relax, release, come back with a lot of energy. Find ways to make a push and put us in a situation that we want to be in.
"We know what it takes to play at the highest level, so we need to find ways to turn it on right now and build off it."