Warriors

Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sitting on a makeshift stage, Steph Curry perfectly encapsulated the Warriors’ season, less than an hour before their latest loss Monday.

Bearing an unorthodox cast to protect his broken left hand, Curry represented the latest Golden State All-Star to injure himself in the first month of the season.

In that wake, the Warriors -- five months removed from a Western Conference title and bearing just five healthy players with playoff experience on their current roster -- now are relegated to a new mantra as the season progresses.

“Stay positive," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the 122-108 loss to the Jazz at Chase Center. "Come in and get our work in."

Kerr's spirit was evident in spurts. During the first quarter, D'Angelo Russell scored 18 of his team-high 33 points, helping the Warriors pull within four points by the end of the frame. After the Jazz outscored them 35-24 in the second quarter, the Warriors cut a 20-point deficit in half, leading to a familiar type of defeat.

Two nights ago, they found themselves down 23 to the Thunder, only to come back and lose in the final minutes, much to their coach's chagrin.

This season is new territory for the Warriors. Over his first five seasons in Golden State, Kerr won 78 percent of his games, overseeing one of the best runs in NBA history and winning three titles. By the end of Monday night, the Warriors were a league-worst 2-9, even if their coach found a silver lining.

 

"They have a lot to play for," Kerr said. "All these guys. So it's discouraging to be 2-9, but it’s a long season, and there's no reason we can't get on a run and win some games and start to feel better about things."

While Golden State’s roster is young and injuries have mounted, a look around the locker room tells a different story: Young players are losing regularly for the first time in their lives.

On one side, Jordan Poole -- known for his game-winning shot that sent Michigan to the Sweet 16 -- owns a personal record of 63-15 in two college seasons. On the other side, fellow rookie Eric Paschall won a national championship during his three years at Villanova.

"It's weird," Paschall admitted to NBC Sports Bay Area about losing. "But you just learn.

“It's a different time. You're in the NBA now. There's a lot of great players. So, it's part of it."

Even as Curry drew out his rehab schedule in front of a crowded room before Monday’s game, Golden State's orbit still revolves around him and Klay Thompson, who tore his ACL during the NBA Finals last season. Both could return from their injuries in the spring, even if championship aspirations won't follow, giving the Warriors’ young and unproven and players one more motivation this season: Have a great audition for when the games start to count again.

[RELATED: Why Steph Curry, Klay Thompson should return if healthy]

"I'm very excited," Paschall admitted. "I feel like we're going to be all right. The fact that we're getting these reps with these young guys means a lot because now when they do come back, we know what we're doing.

“It's not all bad at the end of the day, but we still want to win."