The Warriors have been anything but consistent this year.
One step forward? One step back. Two steps forward? Two steps back.
But Steph Curry and Steve Kerr think the Warriors are on the verge of putting together a quality sustained run typical of years past.
“Everybody is trending in the right direction as far as how we do things, how we play, learning the lessons we need to learn,” Curry told reporters in a video conference following Tuesday’s 114-106 win over the New York Knicks. “We’ve had some tough losses, but every game I feel like we are headed in the right direction in terms of really turning it on and turning the corner. Hopefully in two games I’m not saying the same thing. It’s the process and journey that we’re on as a team.”
Golden State is yet to go on a three-game losing streak, but hasn’t won three straight. The Warriors (17-15) and the .500 mark have attracted one another like magnets. Coach Steve Kerr doesn’t see his team bogged down in mediocrity for much longer, however.
“I really believe we are close to breaking through,” Kerr said.
The Warriors have been able to finish out games at times -- the recent comeback overtime win against the Miami Heat, for example -- but then get burned in back-to-back heartbreakers against the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets.
Positive signs are piling up, though.
Kerr has preached the importance of defense this season and the Warriors rank second in opponents' field goal percentage (43.9) and fourth in defensive rating (108.8). The team weathered a key stretch without James Wiseman and Kevon Looney, going 5-5 in the previous 10 games without both players before the duo returned Tuesday night.
People know their roles now, even though Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins are still susceptible to consistency problems as Steph's wingmen. But the squad definitely plays with some swagger. Whether it be Draymond Green or Juan Toscano-Anderson or Kent Bazemore, everyone seems to add some moxie to the mix for the Dubs.
The Warriors will play five more games before the All-Star break, beginning with Wednesday’s road test at the Indiana Pacers before heading back home to host the Hornets on Friday.
“I think we’re in a good place,” Looney said. “There’s been a lot of ups and downs in the season and a lot of different rotations trying to figure it out. But I think we’re realizing we’re a really versatile team. We can go big, we can go small. We got a lot of different things we can do.”
Curry, Kerr and Looney know what it takes to get to the mountaintop. But first, they can start by winning three straight games.