The 2023 NBA All-Star break was supposed to be the perfect reset for the Warriors in their effort to repeat as champions.
That rejuvenated team was nowhere to be found in Golden State’s first game back, as the Warriors fell to the Los Angeles Lakers 124-111 Thursday night at Crypto.com Arena.
Just over eight hours later, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith grilled the defending champions Friday morning on “First Take."
"Before we move on, let me mention the Golden State Warriors. I'm so disappointed,” Smith said. “Steph Curry is not there. Klay Thompson went quiet in the fourth quarter, we get all of that. You just expected to see more.
“They're 29-30, they seem to be a shell of what they were defensively. I can't forget to mention Draymond Green. All of them are accountable. Steve Kerr is accountable.”
The Warriors didn’t learn their lesson from before the break, making several of the same mistakes that notoriously have become a familiar theme of their season.
Golden State trailed most of the first half and when it seemed like they were pulling in close, it wasn’t enough against the new-look Lakers.
Thompson finished with a team-high 22 points and Ty Jerome added 20 points off the bench. But the defensive woes that have haunted the team all season didn’t get any better.
Playing against a team with NBA All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it was Malik Beasley who shined in Los Angeles.
Beasley, who was acquired by the Lakers from the Utah Jazz before the trade deadline, finished with a game-high 25 points.
As impressive as Beasley’s showing was for Los Angeles, it more than anything exposed Golden State’s biggest flaws of the season.
"Listen, you don't have to win the championship," Smith said. "But you certainly expected to see better than what you're seeing from the Golden State Warriors. We'll [talk about] that later in the days to come, but damn. They are a disappointment. They really are."
RELATED: DiVincenzo's great reaction to facing KD, Warriors as rookie
Sure, it’s February. But it felt like a much-needed win for the Warriors (29-30) who fell to the No. 10 seed in the Western Conference, Their remaining 23 games won't be easy. But it's their final hope of making a late-season run.
And if there's one thing we know about this team, it's how they've continuously thrived off proving others wrong. If that's their plan, the time to do so is now.