After their good start to the season despite seven of their first nine away games, the Warriors hoped to confirm at home with six games in a row at the Chase Center. This opportunity quickly turned into a nightmare. For the first time since the arrival of Steve Kerr, the Warriors have had five defeats in a row at home, while losing Draymond Green, excluded for his nasty gesture on Rudy Gobert, before being suspended for five matches.
Hampered by the size and aggressiveness of Cleveland, Minnesota, and Oklahoma City, the Warriors were able to breathe against the “back-to-back” Rockets, whose squad has less stature.
The numbers speak for themselves: 121 points scored, 47% shooting success, 49% 3-point shooting, and 26 assists. And yet, the Warriors only won by five points against Houston.
“The season is long and when you lose so many games in a row you forget how to win and how to finish games” said Chris Paul after the meeting. “Now we have to move on. We have Phoenix on the road, then San Antonio at home, and then we’ll get Draymond and GP (Gary Payton II) back. It’s difficult to continue when your squad is never complete. »
Stephen Curry’s mea culpa
With the exception of the first game against the Thunder, the Warriors essentially faltered at the end of the game: twice against Minnesota, then in overtime against the Thunder after having an 18-point lead. Last night, they almost made the same mistake since they had taken a 14-point lead. But when it was time to put their opponents’ heads underwater, the Warriors made a series of lost balls and defensive errors.
Despite his sparkling start to the season (30.2 points at 48% success) with a 13th game in a row with four 3-pointers or more (NBA record), Stephen Curry is partly responsible for these swings in concentration. Against OKC, he lost two balls in a row which put the Thunder on the path to a dazzling comeback. Last night, he lost 4 of his team’s 8 balls, attempting several spoon passes in traffic, which were logically intercepted. Obviously, he is not the only one but he sets the tone.
“Against good defenses and good game plans, where we know that certain options are not going to be available, at times I tend to force things a little rather than staying in the rhythm of the match,” he describes. “For example, in the first quarter, I only took one shot but the attack was running well. We were more methodical at the end of the match to put the defense at odds and look for the duels we wanted to attack. For me, it’s always about balance. »
The growing influence of Chris Paul
Chris Paul served as his counterweight, and he still has golden hands. After his 11 assists and 0 lost balls on Saturday against OKC, he continued against the Rockets with 12 assists and 1 lost ball in 34 minutes.
“When you’re in a tough situation, and you’ve just lost several matches in a row, you have to work hard to win”explained Steve Kerr. “Tonight, Chris put the game together, especially late in the game. He found Saric low post, he went for free throws, and he announced a system that gave Steph a layup. That’s the beauty of having Chris with us. He is a true organizing leader. »
Organization is key for the Warriors, and Steve Kerr deplored the lack of training at the start of the season for a team that is still finding itself, especially for the newcomers.
When the Warriors are not organized, they become handball players, and chain empty possessions with passes around the 3-point line, and very little pressure towards the circle. If they want to continue in the coming weeks, they will have to be more rigorous in getting the shots they want.
Unsurprisingly, the role of Chris Paul, alongside Stephen Curry, will be decisive while waiting for the return of Draymond Green.
Comments collected in San Francisco.