Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from disastrous loss to Mavs

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from disastrous loss to Mavs

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OAKLAND – No energy, no chemistry, no chance.

Facing the downtrodden Dallas Mavericks on Saturday at Oracle Arena, the Warriors responded with perhaps their worst performance of the season, earning a 126-91 loss for their efforts.

This was so bad that not even Stephen Curry’s presence – he was given the night off – would have been enough to affect a rescue.

Eighteen days after a 33-point loss to Boston was the worst home loss of the Kerr era, the Warriors topped it. Or bottomed it.

Here are three takeaways from a game which should have no redeeming value to the Warriors:

Awfully atrocious abnormalities

After generating tremendous defensive momentum over the past five games – third in the league in defensive rating during that stretch – the Warriors were two levels below atrocious in the first half.

The Mavericks drained 12 of their first 15 shots. They shot 65.2 percent in building a 37-22 lead after one quarter. They made 11 of their first 18 3-pointers. With the usual transgressions – slow rotations, miscommunication and playing too loosely – on full display, Warriors coach Steve Kerr dipped into his timeout allotment three times in the first 14 minutes.

While Dallas was scorching the nets, the Warriors were tossing up brick, boulders and sticks, shooting 29.6 percent in the first quarter and 36.7 percent for the half.

The Mavs, from the jump, came at the Warriors, whose response was tepid, light years away from their recent championship-caliber defense. With the Warriors playing in a stupor, that defense did not make it to Oracle Arena.

Misfiring shooters

With Curry out, the other members of the Warriors bomb squad knew it was on them to carry the offense. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are capable of completing that assignment.

They failed spectacularly this time.

Durant, clearly responding to the circumstances, was aggressive but nowhere near his usual efficiency. Two days after putting up nine shots in a win over the Pacers, he jacked up 12 in the first quarter. He made four. He finished with 25 points on 9-of-25 shooting over 29 minutes.

Thompson was slightly worse, finishing 4-of-13 over 27 minutes.

The two All-Stars combined to 0-of-12 from deep.

As unsightly as it was, it would have been worse if not for the offense of DeMarcus Cousins, who shot 8-of-11 in scoring scored 19 points – which wasn’t close to being enough.

The liabilities and assets of short memories

With an 82-game schedule, there is something to be said about forgetting the last game and focusing on the next. It usually is the fastest route to recovery.

But the Warriors cited their March 10 loss to Phoenix as a turning point. They knew they had no business being roasted by the worst team in the Western Conference, one eagerly looking forward to the lottery. Embarrassed, they said.

The implication was, rather than forget it and move on, it was worth remembering for its motivational powers.

Then, 13 days later, this.

This actually was worse. The Suns prevailed in a close game. The Mavericks were never threatened, succeeding from the opening tip until the final horn.

The lesson for the Warriors in losing to the Suns at Oracle was supposed to be that any opponent is capable of beating them, despite back-to-back championships. To really remember that loss is to not allow a team such as Dallas to come in and thrive.

Kevin Durant's basketball life flashed before eyes after Achilles injury

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Kevin Durant's basketball life flashed before eyes after Achilles injury

Kevin Durant is unlikely to step on the court in an NBA game this season. The last time he did, he tore his Achilles, one of the toughest injuries for basketball players to fully recover from.

The person that began defending Durant on the play on which he was injured was none other than Toronto's Serge Ibaka, who previously played alongside the two-time Finals MVP while both were members of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The two former teammates recently met up for the newest episode of Ibaka's Bleacher Report show, 'How Hungry Are You?', and Durant confessed what was going through his mind at the moment when his Achilles gave out.

"I felt like my whole basketball life flashed before my eyes," Durant told Ibaka. "I thought about everything I did from like the first time I played until then. That was the first time that something like that ever happened to me on the court. 

"I guess it just relaxed me a bit as I thought about it because I'm like, 'Man, I've been through everything and this is something else I've got to get over, so let me get my ass up, walk to the locker room and figure out what's next."

Before such a serious thought crossed Durant's mind, a far more comical one did so first.

"First of all, when you switched out on me, I was like, 'Why would y'all switch Serge out on me?" Durant questioned with a laugh. "Even though I'm a little hobbled right now, this a bucket. That's what I was thinking.

"And it's crazy how fast your mind switches, cuz in a matter of the next second, it was like I was on the ground thinking about my whole basketball career. It happened so fast, and once I got back to the back and realized what happened, I was just like, 'Alright, man, let me figure out ... when can I get surgery?'

"I was just trying to move on to the next step so fast and not dwell on it too much."

[RELATED: Who's better: Steph or Russ? KD makes his choice clear]

Little did we know at the time that Durant's next step would lead him to Brooklyn.

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

Kevin Durant tells Serge Ibaka why Warriors would have beaten Raptors

Kevin Durant tells Serge Ibaka why Warriors would have beaten Raptors

It's always fun to hear two people talk some friendly trash to each other.

It's even better when the people involved are Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.

On the most recent episode of "How Hungry Are You?" from Bleacher Report, the former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates had the following back-and-forth about the 2019 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Raptors:

Ibaka: "Do you think if you didn't go down, you guys would beat us?"

Durant: "For sure."

Ibaka: "Are you sure about that? Are you 100 percent, my brother? We were hot, baby ... we were hot. We were like fire. Nobody could stop us."

Durant: "I could. I was like Sub-Zero (laughing)."

Ibaka: "We may go to Game 7, but the way we were balling -- had confidence."

Durant: "Let's put it like this -- if ya'll go into a Game 7 with the two-time champs, you're not winning that game. You're not. Ya'll had to win in six, which ya'll did. But if I was out there, ya'll wouldn't have beat us at home."

Ibaka: "We almost beat you guys in five, you know that right?"

Durant: "Yeah. Game 6, ya'll almost lost anyway. Klay [Thompson] went out, and ya'll almost lost. So Game 6, we would have smacked ya'll at the crib. And then Game 7 -- I know for sure you could hear a pin drop in your locker room walking into that arena. Ya'll would have been so shook."

Ibaka: "Yeah."

Durant: "So shook."

Ibaka: "Yeah, you're right about that (laughter). But we were hot, so we the champs."

[RELATED: Steph knows he has no room for error with Dubs this season]

Awesome stuff.

Durant didn't bring up the fact that he missed the first four games of the series, while Klay and Kevon Looney were sidelined for Game 3 in Oakland.

I think we all can agree that if both teams were fully healthy from the start, Golden State wins the series in six games max.

But that's not how life works.

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Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!