Warriors

What we learned in Warriors' lifeless home loss to Hawks

Warriors
Trae Young driving against Warriors

Despite getting roster reinforcements in the form of Draymond Green, the Warriors struggled to make significant improvements Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks, just 24 hours after one of their more brutal losses. 

After trailing by 24 points at one point, the Warriors put themselves in the position to make it competitive a few times throughout the night but couldn't get over the hump, ultimately falling to the Hawks 124-108 at Chase Center.

While Atlanta's offense was flowing and shot 54.8 percent from the floor, the Warriors (22-24) were stagnant, despite Andrew Wiggins 29 points, and down the stretch, they couldn't defend without fouling. 

This loss puts the Warriors on a four-game losing streak, tied for their longest losing streak this season.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' latest loss:

Warriors need more than Wiggins

Similar to how it makes sense that the Warriors' defense is substandard without Green, it's obvious their offense falls a couple of notches without Steph Curry. He is their best player and offensive centerpiece, and without that, the Warriors lose a lot of power. 

Wiggins helped get some of that power back against the Hawks. 

He scored 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting to go with seven rebounds and three assists, and was the only major source of offensive production for the Warriors. 

This isn't the first time he's stepped up in Curry's absence.

In the first game, the Warriors played without Curry against the Grizzlies, Andrew Wiggins went for 40. That night, Golden State didn't miss a beat without their point guard. But that was because, in addition to Wiggins' scoring, two players scored at least 25 points.

 

Since then, Wiggins has been the closest thing the Warriors have found to consistent success on offensive, but they need more from the rest of the role players. In fact, they will need more even after Curry returns.

Defensive struggles continue

When the Warriors could barely make a stop against the Kings on Thursday, you might have chalked that up to Draymond being sidelined with an illness. He is the defensive anchor, after all. 

But those struggles continued on Friday against the Hawks, despite having the former Defensive Player of the Year back on the court. 

Against Atlanta, it wasn't that the Warriors' defense was getting picked apart by Trae Young and the Hawks. That might have been part of it, but the other part was the lack of effort from Golden State. 

They were late on rotations, defended with little physicality and jogged into sets. The Warriors' interior defense was particularly weak, where they allowed the Hawks to score 60 points in the paint.

The Warriors got more engaged in the second half, but it needed to be strong from the jump.

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James Wiseman bounces back

After a Thursday night performance that left Wiseman visibility frustrated, he rebounded nicely against the Hawks on Friday.

Wiseman looked more comfortable on the court at Chase Center, taking his time to get into position and not forcing his shot.

Before the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he wanted his rookie to play more relaxed because it would translate into his game coming more naturally. That's exactly what happened.

He finished with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting and five rebounds.

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