At a time when the Warriors need more from himself and his teammates and his coaches, Stephen Curry is asking for it.
Somebody needs to speak up if the Warriors are to get back to playing with urgency and passion and purpose. That has been missing of late.
“There’s another level, and it’s frustrating when you don’t get to that, for whatever reason,” Curry told reporters Sunday night in Charlotte. “For us to just stay focused on the mission, keep our joy, keep our energy, understand that we should be having fun doing what we do.
“It’s been a stressful year in terms of all the ups and downs, the circus and drama around our team on a daily basis. We cannot lose the joy that we need to play with and understand exactly what we’re playing for.
“And as frustrating as it is right now, we can work out way out of it. It just has to take a full commitment from everybody.”
The Warriors have lost two of their last three games, and were underwhelming in beating the Sacramento Kings on Thursday. Players and coaches acknowledge that the past 11 days, which include the All-Star break, have been below standard.
That’s how the Houston Rockets could roll into Oracle Arena on Saturday, without James Harden, and scorch the Warriors on their own floor.
“We’ve been on the All-Star break until late (Saturday) night. We finally got off the All-Star break about 8:30,” coach Steve Kerr said, referring to withering postgame assessments after losing to Houston. “We got back to work (Sunday) night. I’m excited to get back on track. These last few days have been – between one sloppy practice, one sloppy walk-through and two poor games – a good eye-opener for our guys.”
No one was spared Saturday night, and by all accounts the team’s practice Sunday at Davidson College – the place made famous by Curry – was sharper, much more focused and representative of a team trying to regroup during a road trip that begins Monday against the Hornets in Charlotte.
“We have to understand that us showing up the way we did (Saturday night) is not going to cut it,” he said. “So we’ve got to collectively, top to bottom, figure it out.”
“Our resiliency and ability to self-correct has been one of the true catalysts for our success, so tomorrow is an opportunity to do that.”
Though the Warriors would like to earn the No. 1 overall seed, they have fallen three games behind the Milwaukee Bucks, who sit atop the Eastern Conference.