Wins will be hard to come by for the Warriors this season, considering the extended absences of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Golden State narrowly lost to the Charlotte Hornets, 93-87, on the second half of a back-to-back at Chase Center on Saturday night. The Warriors fell to 1-5 and, perhaps sensing how many losses could pile up this season, coach Steve Kerr blamed himself for the Warriors' defeat.
"Our guys played fantastic basketball and fought like crazy and then their coach decided to screw things up at the end," Kerr said Saturday night. "I take responsibility for that one. Tough way to lose. I was just so proud of the guys with the way they competed, executed and they just did a hell of a job. A couple of things at the end if [we] could have executed a little bit better and if I made a couple of different decisions, I think we would've been in good shape."
Kerr finds himself in a situation as unfamiliar as the Warriors' roster. During his first five seasons with Golden State, the Warriors lost their fifth game of the season no sooner than their 17th game. But Curry (broken left hand) and Thompson (ACL rehab) are out for the foreseeable future, while Draymond Green (sprained left index finger) will miss at least the "next few games" -- before he goes on a minutes and games restriction. Even if D'Angelo Russell returns from an ankle sprain sooner rather than later, no team can overcome the absence of that many stars.
That's surely what made Saturday's loss feel like the Warriors missed a big opportunity, as Golden State was in position to mount a late comeback.
The Warriors turned the ball over off an inbound pass with 25.5 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter while trailing by a point and then allowed offensive rebounds on the Hornets' next two trips to the line while big man Willie Cauley-Stein sat on the bench.
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It's a decision Kerr regrets.
"If Willie had been in there, I think he would’ve had the ball, so that’s the one that’s going to haunt me tonight and keep me from sleeping," Kerr said Saturday. "Like I said, the guys did a great job fighting and I wish I had made that decision differently and given them another chance.”
Saturday's loss, barring a major in-season turnaround, won't be the difference between the Warriors making and missing the playoffs. It was, however, a missed opportunity for a brief respite from a season likely to be littered with painful losses.