Not that he really needed the reminder, but Steve Kerr is suddenly finding life in the NBA isn’t so easy after all.
The Golden State Warriors, struck by injuries and a distinct lack of team chemistry, lost their third straight game and their fourth out of the past five, falling to the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
“I’ve had a dream run for four and a half years,” Kerr told reporters. “We’ve had such a charmed existence the last four seasons. This is the toughest stretch we’ve been in. This is the real NBA. We haven’t been in the real NBA the last few years. We’ve been in this dream and so now we’re faced with real adversity and we got to get out of it ourselves.”
The Warriors are missing Stephen Curry, who has missed six games recovering from a strained groin, and now Draymond Green, who was suspended for a game last week after his run-in with Kevin Durant, has missed two games with a sore toe. Three teams (the Raptors and Bucks in the Eastern Conference and the Trail Blazers in the Western) have a better winning percentage than the Warriors at this point, an uncharacteristic state of affairs.
“Everyone has to come together and you can’t feel sorry for yourselves,” Kerr said. “You have to commit to fighting and executing, competing for 48 minutes. I thought we did that for maybe 24 minutes tonight. We had a couple good stretches. I was very proud of the group in the second half, got us back in the game and they fought.
“It’s not enough to do that for a stretch and then go through a bad spell. You got to be competing the whole time and playing with some poise and playing with a purpose. I didn’t think we did that tonight.”
The Warriors have never gone 0-3 on a road trip since Kerr became coach and, according to Durant, the message he has delivered is simple. “Play with joy,” Durant said. “Just trying to get that joy back.”
That’s easier said than done after Green was suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team” for his outburst. That, according to Dieter Kurtenbach of the Mercury News, left Durant in a funk. And being asked to carry more of the load “has bad news written all over it. Cue the hero ball and midrange jumpers.” Nor has Klay Thompson been himself, Kurtenbach writes, “and one has to wonder if he even can be without Curry around.
The Warriors had their chances in the last two losses and there’s no sign of panic yet. It is, after all, still November.
“I don’t think there’s any drama really that affects how we play out there,” Thompson said. “I think it’s just we’re playing bad on our part. Can’t blame the coaches — us players will take ownership. I guess there’s a first time for everything. Steve’s been here, I think, five years now and for the first time going 0-3? It’s pretty good if you ask me. It’s not the end of the world.”
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