Omari Spellman criticizes Warriors' effort after eighth straight loss


If something is on Omari Spellman's mind, it typically will come out of his mouth.

Such was the case after the Warriors' 122-102 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.

The Warriors were outrebounded, outhustled and thoroughly outplayed in Memphis, leading to the big man's latest rant.

"No intensity, no nothing. We're just out there running," Spellman told reporters at FedEx Forum. "That's it. And them being NBA basketball players, they hit us over the head. That's all I have."

Spellman's words have merit. In 48 minutes, the Warriors were outrebounded 60-47, including a 18-12 disadvantage on the offensive glass. Worse, despite making 50 percent of their 3-pointers, the Warriors committed 22 turnovers, as Memphis outscored Golden State's bench 47-32.

The Warriors' woes culminated in a miserable third quarter, when the Grizzlies increased their one-point halftime lead to a 95-76 advantage heading into the fourth.

Coinciding with the Warriors' troubles was the performance of Grizzlies big man Jonas Valanciunas, who finished with 31 points and 19 rebounds, bullying Golden State's frontcourt along the way. Nearly three minutes into the second quarter, he secured a rebound over Warriors rookie Alen Smailagic, took a dribble, then drove his shoulder into the 19-year-old, before making a layup as the Golden State big man fell back toward Memphis' bench.

Thirty seconds later, Valanciunas got the ball on the post against the Serbian, took another jab step and made a jump shot. By the end of the night, the Grizzlies center made 13 of his 17 attempts, asserting his dominance along the way.


"He seemed to be dominating no matter who is out there," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "He's a big, strong guy, he's an old-school center. He can also step out and make a three."

Spellman had a more direct reason for Golden State's frontcourt demise.

"We didn't play hard," he said. "So yeah, he's just taller than us. When you're not playing hard and just standing there, that happens."

The Warriors' latest performance coincides with Spellman's abrupt descent. Two days after making his first start of the season, he shot just 3 of 7 from the field and grabbed just four rebounds, much to the forward's chagrin.

"I had two fouls. I turned the ball over," Spellman said. "I don't think I capitalized on the opportunity at all tonight."

Sunday's loss was just the latest Warriors collapse. After leading the Clippers by 10 points Friday, LA outscored Golden State 36-17 over the final 12 minutes. Now, after his team's eighth consecutive loss, Spellman said the Warriors' difficulties extend to more than just on-court play.

"The aura in that locker room right now wasn't the greatest," Spellman said. "We got to find a way to get that back. Once we do, I think we'll be fine."

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Spellman's words come at a particular time of peril for the Warriors. Without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in the lineup, the team has descended to the bottom of the Western Conference, on track to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2012, putting this iteration of the Warriors in a new territory.

"It's been a tough first half of the season," Kerr said. "But there's a lot to play for. We're playing for our future. Individually and collectively, so guys understand that, and we've got to try and find some footing here as we enter the second half of the season and try to get some momentum."