Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, will take you inside the Dubs as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #askKerith.
The Warriors are still looking for their 10th win of the season, as their losing streak has grown to 10 consecutive games. The rest of the month is tough. If the playoffs began today, the next six opponents the Dubs play to wrap up January -- Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics -- would be in the postseason.
The players and coaches are frustrated, and so are fans. I like hearing from you in the mailbag. The most popular questions this week were about when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson might return.
Via instagram, @thebryannolen, @_habizz.walden_pnw, and @renegadegabe all wondered about Steph and Klay and whether they’d have minutes restrictions when they come back.
Last week’s mailbag contained the update that Steph will be re-evaluated on Feb. 1 and Klay will be re-evaluated during the All-Star break.
It was encouraging to see Steph and Klay travel with the team during the last road trip, and video from practice shows Steph shooting with his teammates. He was moving side-to-side with the ball in his hands, putting up 3-pointers with ease.
Keep in mind Steph’s re-evaluation date is still two weeks away. He might need more time to recover. When, or if, Steph comes back (and I think it will be when ... late February/early March is my feeling), he’ll probably be eased in slowly, per usual after long-term injuries. A minutes restriction will keep things manageable as he gets his wind back, while he builds chemistry on the floor with his new teammates.
Klay spoke to reporters on Tuesday. It was the first time we’ve heard from him since Media Day, months ago.
“I don’t know what’s going to come this season. I would love to get out there,” Klay said.
I think he’s holding out hope he could possibly play late in the season, while understanding it might not happen -- and that could be for the best.
“I’m trying to make sure this type of injury never happens to me again. So, I’ll be very patient because I want to play at a high level until I’m in my late-30s,” Klay added.
The medical staff needs to clear Klay for contact first, and that’s not happening for several weeks -- more likely months.
[RELATED: Watch Klay shoot at Chase Center]
@MrHeavyMetaI What are chances Steph, Klay, D Lo and Green play a game together this season?? #askKerith
Because it’s uncertain Klay will play at all this season, I’ll entertain this question by saying a 2 percent chance. There’s wiggle room, but I feel doubtful. Even if all four of them are available toward the end of the season, one of them a night could be load-managed.
@misha1031 Watching the game (on Tuesday), I worried that we are not grasping how weak this team is on the floor (I’m not underestimating the difficulty of what this team is trying to do) In your opinion, how many seasons will it take to find a real core? One seems optimistic.
The Warriors have a core -- it’s Steph, Klay, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney. Three out of those four have been dealing with long-term injuries. And Draymond is physically and mentally tired.
There’s a chance D’Angelo Russell will grow into part of the core, but his first year with the team wasn’t what he expected. He deserves space to acclimate to handling a great deal of the scouring output. He’s been slowed by thumb, ankle, and shoulder injuries this season.
The core is there for next season. Steph and Klay were forced to rest via rehab. Draymond’s obvious frustration this season should ease when he’s alongside the Splash Brothers again. Kevon’s situation of managing his neuropathy is concerning, but until reporters get word that Kevon needs something more than day-to-day management, I choose to be optimistic.
Barring another season of injuries, the Warriors have their core next year. They also have a collection of young core candidates who have been through the fire this season. Lead by perhaps the best coaching staff in the NBA and an organization with a healthy culture in place, next season should be much better.
@DavidGrisar What is Steve Kerr’s contract status? Did he sign a new deal?
Kerr signed a contract extension in the summer of 2018, and Warriors Insider Monte Poole learned Kerr is expected to coach at least the first two seasons at Chase Center. You can find more details here.
@TheMattBoyle More likely Steph plays in the Olympics given this will be a less taxing regular season?
For sure. Going from the Finals to the Olympics, for example, would not give Steph a chance to rest and recover. Concerns about recovery kept him out of the 2016 games in Rio. But a deep Warriors playoff run is not the situation this season. Being an Olympian is one honor Steph doesn’t have yet in his career. This summer in Tokyo should change that.
@AnneHarr13 Does the team fly out of SFO now, rather than out of OAK?
Yes. The team practices and plays games in San Francisco, so they fly out of SFO too.
Via instagram, @mr.blai asks, Where do those boxes of food the players bring to the plane come from? Are they just takeouts from their favorite restaurants?
There is food everywhere, provided by the team. Those takeout boxes you see contain healthy, catered meals. There’s salad, lean meats, noodles, quinoa, cold cuts, cheeses, smoothies, juices, you name it.
Players will never go hungry. There’s food before take off, on the plane, at practice, and in the locker room pregame and postgame. One of the most popular snacks on hand is the old comfort food, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
This week’s high five goes to Klay Thompson, who will see his Washington State University number lifted into to the rafters in a jersey retirement ceremony Saturday in Pullman, WA.
He led the Pac-12 in scoring his junior year before declaring for the draft, and he left the school with the single-season scoring record of 733 points.
I’ll be in Pullman to cover the ceremony. Stay tuned for interviews, video, and pictures!