Warriors

Warriors meet in hopes of regaining chemistry that has made them great

Warriors meet in hopes of regaining chemistry that has made them great

OAKLAND — After their third defeat in four games, each with a similar pattern, the Warriors convened Wednesday for what might reasonably be considered an emergency session.

The defending champs are in peril, and they know it.

The popular choice to win a third consecutive NBA Finals, the Warriors are playing a lot of bad basketball, as their fabled team culture faces its toughest challenge since Steve Kerr took over as coach in May 2014.

An open forum seemed like a good idea. And, according to Draymond Green, the dialogue was widespread.

“A lot of people spoke up,” Green said. “Which was good.”

The Warriors have plenty of air to clear, so why not get started after a 33-point loss at Oracle Arena — their worst home loss in nearly 400 games under Kerr?

“We sucked,” Green said of the 128-95 loss to the Boston Celtics. “We got embarrassed.”

As accurate as Green’s statement is, it merely stamps the surface of the issue. There is a very different overall team chemistry from the previous four seasons. Those Warriors were together in ways that transcended the court. These Warriors are not.

Asked about the vibe of the team, Green took a lengthy pause before replying.

“I don’t see a problem with the vibe of the team,” he said, quickly moving off the subject.

Green doesn’t miss much. But he’s not seeing — or not sharing — what’s evident.

The Warriors are less than the sum of their parts, and the reasons behind it are varied. There is little doubt some of it is related to the state of Kevin Durant, who has been far more sullen and contentious this season than he was in his first two as a Warrior. And more sullen and contentious over the past two months than he was in October.

There is general belief within the organization that this is Durant’s last season as a Warrior. The team is bracing for his departure, which need not affect this season.

But Durant has been less engaged than he was in either of his first two seasons with the team. He continues to put in work and produce, but his body language often is not as positive as that of his teammates. He also has become more isolated.

Furthermore, there have been clear indications of at least a modicum of discord between Durant and Kerr, the latest coming Tuesday when Durant expressed bewilderment over what exactly the coach wants from his players.

Joy? Anger? Which is it?

The Warriors lately haven’t had much of either. They have been too passive for too many stretches of games and, of course, losing yanks the joy from any team with aspirations.

“Coming off a loss like last night forces you to take a look in the mirror, whether you’re a coach or a player or anything within the organization,” Kerr said. “We all have to look at ourselves. I definitely did that last night and didn’t like what I saw in terms of my own coaching job.

“So we came in, had a good film session, we talked about our flaws and where we need to get better. And we had a good practice.”

The hope is that good practice habits lead to better game habits, which might result in winning, which should improve overall team spirit. It has to start somewhere, and an effort to ensure players and coaches are in sync is Step One.

“As far as (Kerr) getting us ready, there’s more that he can do,” Green said. “There’s always more than he can do. There’s always more our entire coaching staff can do.

“On the flip side of that, there is way more that we can do as players. They can do all that they can do, and if we come out lacking energy and dead like we did last night, it’s not going to matter.”

[RELATED: Dubs 'excited' to add Bogut as 'insurance policy' up front]

Both Green and Kerr vocalized a need for greater intensity, particularly early in games. The Warriors have fallen behind by considerable margin in the first quarter of their last four losses. That’s usually indicative of players being unprepared and uninterested or, maybe, a combination of the two.

“We can use the old cliché line: ‘Every time we step on the floor, we want to get better,’ “ Green said. “But we didn’t do that last year, and we still ran through the playoffs. So it’s easy to take that mindset again.

“I don’t want to live on the edge like that. And, hopefully, the switch flips on.”

Eighteen regular-season games remain for the Warriors to solve the internal unrest, pull out of this depression and look like their championship-level selves again. Can they?

We’ll know it when he we see it.

Who Warriors fans think Steph Curry should team up with in 'The Match'

Who Warriors fans think Steph Curry should team up with in 'The Match'

Sunday’s “The Match” featuring Bay Area native Tom Brady, former NFL MVP Peyton Manning and PGA stars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson seemed to be a smashing success for the sport of golf. Not only was $20 million raised for coronavirus relief in the United States, but sports fans were glued to their televisions to watch golf, something the sport forever has struggled with.

Warriors star Steph Curry tweeted during the event that he wanted to participate in the next iteration of the “The Match.” So we asked, who would Warriors fans like to see Steph team up with the next time this event is organized and got some interesting responses.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

John Daly no doubt would be an interesting partner for Curry, but the two aren’t likely to be a match made in heaven. Daly’s partying and off-the-course exploits were infamous during his days on the tour, something Curry never has gotten wrapped up in.

Another commenter mentioned Jordan Spieth, who is a fellow Under Armour athlete with Curry. These two likely have played together numerous times over the years, and Spieth has been known to provide a good sound byte.

[RELATED: Ranking 10 best duos in NBA history, including two Warriors pairs]

Another name to consider would be Justin Thomas, the No. 4 player in the world. Thomas joined the TNT telecast for Sunday’s event and was a great on-course reporter, including this somewhat-NSFW dig at Charles Barkley.

Thomas and Curry together would provide some incredible laughs.

Whoever it is, having Steph mic’d up for an entire 18 holes should make for some magnificent content.

Ex-Warrior Andrew Bogut not retiring yet but won't re-sign with Sydney

Ex-Warrior Andrew Bogut not retiring yet but won't re-sign with Sydney

Back in mid-April, former Warriors center Andrew Bogut said he would make a decision on his basketball future in May.

With a handful of days left in May, Bogut has made a decision.

Sort of.

The 35-year-old Australian tweeted a statement Sunday and said he won't re-sign with the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League right now, or any other professional basketball team for that matter.

Bogut made it clear that it wasn't a "retirement note." He said due to the uncertainty surrounding sports because of the global coronavirus pandemic, it was too difficult to make a decision right now.

He also did mention that he hopes to be back on a basketball in the "near future."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Bogut last appeared on an NBA court in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals when the Warriors lost to the Toronto Raptors at Oracle Arena.

Since then, he had been play with Sydney before the pandemic forced all sports leagues to pause their seasons. Bogut was averaging 8.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in 21.5 minutes over 25 games for Sydney.

For now, Bogut will let his body rest and spend time with his family.

[RELATED: Bogut likes two NBA draft prospects]

If the former No. 1 overall pick decides later not to play another professional basketball game, he leaves the sport with a decorated NBA career: Champion, an All-NBA Third Team selection, and an All-Defensive Second Team selection.