OAKLAND – If you only read about the Golden State Warriors and never actually watched a game or checked the team’s record you might think they were a middle-of-the-pack group struggling to find itself on the way to the playoffs.
The Warriors turn the ball over too much. The Warriors lack focus. The Warriors play down to their opponents. The Warriors start games too slow. The Warriors don’t try on defense like they used to. Any of these storylines sound familiar?
If you follow the team closely, the should.
That’s partly because Steve Kerr, ever the perfectionist, will often talk candidly about what he wants his team to improve on. It’s also partly the case because this is the type of microscope that comes with the meteoric level of success the Warriors have achieved over the past three and a half seasons.
Following the team’s comfortable (until it wasn’t) 134-127 win over the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night, the Warriors sit a game back in the loss column of the Houston Rockets for the best record in the NBA. They only recently fell to that level, after losing four of the final eight games leading up to the endlessly-talked-about All-Star break.
Thursday a reporter asked Draymond if he thought beating the Clippers was a step in the right direction in regards to some of the team’s highly-publicized, albeit extremely minor, flaws.
“We’re a championship team,” Green continued. “We’re not about to sit here and act like we’re this battered team that has had a horrible season, and like we’re looking for any glimmer of hope.”
Green’s answer may have been directed at one single reporter, but it was really directed at anyone who has been nitpicking the defending champions in recent weeks.
“I understand we haven’t been as great as most people expect, and we expect, but we’re still a damn good basketball team. So we don’t need no, ‘This is a step in the right direction.’ You may get that out of someone, but I don’t really roll like that.”
No he does not.