Warriors

Warriors' issues likely aren't fixable over final 22 games

Warriors
Steph Curry shooting against Hawks

When Steph Curry was asked how the Warriors fix the problems that handed them a 117-111 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night, he had a blunt and honest answer. 

"I don't know, man," Curry said. "It's like the 20th time we've gotten asked that question and we haven't figured it out yet."

The issues that cost Golden State the game against the Hawks are the same problems they've had all season. Fouling, bench production and turnovers were detrimental to the Warriors on Sunday, and are big reasons as to why they have a 23-27 record.

Every time one of these issues arises, someone says they have to be more "disciplined," or play with a better effort. If they do that, the Warriors should see a steady improvement. But, with just 22 games left in the season, the Warriors have, instead, seen a decline in production and success. It begs the question: if they haven't figured out how to do that 50 games into the season, what will it take for it to change now?

It's not as though the Warriors don't know they haven't had positive progression this season. 

After Sunday's game, Kelly Oubre Jr. said the team is "very understanding" and that they "know we have a lot of work to do, especially now that the season is winding down, is ticking down ... And the sooner that we get our s--t together and get on track, the sooner we can all feel better about ourselves."

 

It feels as though the Warriors have taken all the correct steps in addressing their problems. Last week, Curry and Draymond Green shared messages to their teammates about looking within and trying to be better. Klay Thompson spoke to several players after Friday's game against Toronto. Coach Steve Kerr has tried different tactics in practice to get his players to be more disciplined. 

They've tried implementing a different offensive system -- opting for a simpler game plan instead of their signature free-flowing offense -- put a greater emphasis on defense, and have tried countless rotation combinations in hopes of finding one that sticks.

Yet nothing has translated. Because of that, it's unclear what needs to happen for the Warriors to break their nasty habits.

"The hard part is trying to answer some of the questions around how we get better and how we win games," Curry said. "The situation is what it is. We have a lot to improve on. And there's a challenge there we all need to take head-on. It's uncomfortable right now. It's frustrating for everybody. But it will test us to find a way to make these last (22) games matter and give us something to show for it toward the end of the season. Right now, it's frustrating for sure. I hope everybody in the locker room hates losing as motivation to stick with it, to stay connected and to figure it out."

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It's become evident that looking beyond this season, the return of Thompson will not be the problem-solver to all of the Warriors' problems. It's gone far beyond anything one player can resolve. 

The Warriors are at their lowest point of the season. They were hoping to find redemption on Sunday after dropping a game by 53 points two nights before, but instead, they were confronted by the same issues that have hurt them countless times before. 

Curry is right that they need to take hating to lose as motivation to turn things around. But with the season in its final stretch and so little growth seen by the Warriors thus far, it's hard to imagine how much change can happen between now and the end of the regular season.

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