Discover more from Dub Nation HQ
What's going on with the Warriors on the road?
Fighting for your life builds character?
Owner of the Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob doesn’t believe in the multiverse. “There’s only one timeline. I don’t know where this two-timelines thing comes from. There’s one timeline. You have a roster that you try to put together given financial constraints and given what’s available and what you can get.”
This roster is hovering around the .500 mark… again. At this point, it would be deeply surprising to me should they finish anything but perfectly in balance between wins and losses. Struggling on the road, the Warriors are facing down the end of the season with eyes fully open about what’s ahead of them. It’s not going to be easy. But then again, has it ever been?
WHO: Golden State Warriors (34-32) at Memphis Grizzlies (38-26)
WHEN: Thursday, March 9th, 2023 // 4:30pm PDT
The road beatings will continue until morale improves!
Golden State has not been good on the road. As the season winds to a close, there’s only so much time to fix everything. Which points to another reality: is the situation going to be fixed? The Warriors have a tough stretch of games coming up, and though they bought themselves some breathing room while Curry was out with an injury - it wasn’t all that much. Take a look at the meat grinder that Golden State is about to walk into:
The Warriors gave up 40 points in the first quarter to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Another 37 in the third. The last game was an embodiment of an ancient Warriors ethos to score 120 and give up 140 points on the other end. It’s a jarring change for a franchise that is known more recently as especially stout on defense - but things change.
Like Lacob said, there’s no time hopping allowed here. We are all stuck holding the rope and getting dragged along our shared singular timeline. Is Kerr’s motion-based offense no longer the advantage it once was? Are the aging legs and relationships of this veteran core beginning to fray with age? Did the roster fall short because it was forced to carry so many minimum and rookie contracts? You have to answer “at least maybe” to all of those. The extent that any of it matters is yet to be decided, but these are the realities.
And the consequences. Per Anthony Slater of The Athletic, the previous game was the seventh straight road loss. Because they like balance, the Warriors have won a grand total of seven game on the road this season - a dreadful 7-25 record. And to get there, they’ve been laying out what would the the third worst defensive rating in the NBA… guess their home defensive rating?
Jordan Poole has been an issue lately - on defense in particular.
Of course, he started the season getting punched in the face (really, really hard) by a coworker, so I can understand if he’s disgruntled, but there’s a certain level of professional craftsmanship that is lacking in that clip above.
They call them fundamentals, but the true mastery demonstrated by a defender like Draymond Green, or a rebounder like Kevon Looney, is the attention to detail. The ability to predict what’s about to happen and then putting yourself in a position to disrupt it is much more than just a simple fundamental.
And to be sure: this isn’t just a Poole problem. The team has crumbled pretty consistently under pressure this season. That’s what makes the Thunder loss such an ugly wound, it feels a little too familiar.
But there’s been a certain magic around these Warriors. They won it just last year, and though I don’t have any money down on them to win it all, I definitely wouldn’t bet against them in a series.
Assuming they can manage to start winning games on the road.
The gods have taken their fee. Now it’s time for a road win from the basketball gods. Warriors win easy today, and I look like a happy idiot that overreacted to a meaningless loss or two.
Okay, there was that one time where they had Kevin Durant and the best roster ever assembled in the history of the NBA. But even that was a little bit hard.