In the midst of Steve Kerr's media availability after an optional maintenance day for the team, Kerr threw a quick but poignant quote in the middle of one of his answers.
Replying to a question about the turning point in the loss to the Suns, Kerr mentioned that the Warriors "need to stop looking at the officials. We're complaining too much to the referees. We're spending too much energy arguing with the refs instead of just playing. I don't think that helped last night. We're putting too much energy where it shouldn't be."
He is right. The Warriors have had an issue the last couple seasons in focusing a lot of their energy and frustrations towards the officiating crew, rather than towards their opponent. While Kerr preaches playing with joy, the Warriors could use some of the anger and fire they direct towards the refs, and refocus it into the actual game.
There are times that the officiating has not gone the Warriors way this season, but the same can be said for every team in the NBA. As of now, three Warriors appear in the top-15 of technical fouls received. Draymond Green is tied for second with 14 techs, Durant is tied for seventh with 11 and DeMarcus Cousins is tied for 14th in the league with eight, despite only playing in 19 games this season.
If the Warriors want to play at a championship level, they will need to get out of their own way, and that includes leaving the referees alone.
Moving on ...
With every Warriors Outsiders show, we do a simulcast on Facebook Live. Here are some questions and comments that we didn’t get to address from the last show.
Jerry Sutton: The bench can’t keep leads anymore and they’re beginning to play to much ISO ball, get back to that great ball movement again
MannyTedom: The problem is obviously the bench. They can't score when one or some of the stars are struggling. Jerebko, Mckenie, Livingston, Cook cannot score consistently!
Andre Iguodala said it best: "Our bench could be a whole lot better." As of now, there are eight players cemented in the rotation, including the five stars, Iguodala, Kevon Looney and Shaun Livingston. Iguodala has been the one constant off the bench that has not faltered at all this season. He has been having a very impressive season.
Before Looney's injury that forced him to miss a few games, he had been struggling for a couple of weeks. But since returning, Looney has been the consistently good player that we have all come to expect. In the last two games, he is averaging seven points, seven rebounds, and shooting 75 percent. His improvement will definitely be a boost to the Warriors' depth.
Livingston has had a very up and down season, dealing with some injuries and inconsistent play. The Warriors expect him to bounce back to his old self once the playoffs begin, but it is yet to be seen if the veteran still has what it takes. Jordan Bell has played well in his role recently and the addition of Andrew Bogut will be an exciting reunion for the bench.
Finally, I have chronicled the recent struggles of Jonas Jerebko, Alfonzo McKinnie and Quinn Cook, which has definitely messed with the effectiveness of the Warriors depth.
Right now the Warriors are still figuring out how to incorporate DeMarcus Cousins into the offense, so while it may seem like ISO ball when they throw the basketball to him on the block and hope he can make a play, the coaches are actually experimenting to see what works. Hopefully, they have it figured out in time for the playoffs.
Billy Plantilla: Can't wait to see that "BIG GAME" from Steph again.. He's been struggling offensively for quite some time
The first two games after the All-Star Break, Steph Curry was playing at the MVP level he had for a majority of the season. In those games he averaged 30.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7 assists, and shot 56 percent from deep, making 15 total threes.
But since then, Curry has struggled with his shot. Over the last seven games, he is averaging nearly 23 points on 38 percent overall shooting from the field and only 32 percent from deep. Steve Kerr maintains that it is not fatigue setting in for Curry, but a lack of offensive execution and focus from the team overall that has affected him. With the Warriors hitting the road for a tough trip starting in Houston, the team could use Curry to break out of his mini-slump.
William Butkus: Grant, I think you threw off Curry's three shot for the game with bad bounce pass. Just sayin, lol. That loss hurt, ugh
I agree! It's my fault!! Before the last four home games, when finishing his warmup shots, Steph Curry has had me throw him a pass for his final shot. Not sure why I chose to go with a bounce pass the first time, but Curry found it funny and I have stuck with it. But this last game, I fumbled his pass (though it was a header pass from Curry that was a little offline!) which led to me chasing the ball, and then threw him a poor bounce pass once I recovered it.
Embarrassing, I know. But at least he hit the shot!!
Yna Duque: We need Bogut. Warriors need something new to break this bad spell.
The Warriors do not necessarily NEED Bogut right now. They are pretty healthy and just need to find their focus. But I do agree that something "new" to add to the team could bring some excitement and energy back, even if he does not play much. If boredom and focus is an issue, adding a trusted and former teammate to the mix could end up being the right type of jolt of fun and intrigue that could push the Warriors a little bit to the regular season finish line.
Mike Cramer: When the playoffs begin, the Warriors will come to play. Let's hit the fast forward button for the next 16 games.
The Warriors would LOVE to hit the fast forward button to the playoffs, however, they do not have that luxury. In fact, they are in a battle for the top seed in the West. It's up to the coaches and the players to refocus in time for this road trip starting in Houston, or else they might lose their home court advantage in the future.