The Warriors: what’s up, man?
A 4-7 start is historic, because it’s the second-worst start of the Steve Kerr Era.
Do you remember the start worse than this?
I’ll help: the Warriors started the 2019-20 season with a robust 2-9 record. That was the year sculptors were carving “Mount ForeverWarrior-More” with the iconic four faces of Willie Cauley-Stein, D’Angelo Russell, Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks.
That’s the only start worse than this.
There are generally two ways to look at this.
- There is the calm, rational, level-headed way: The Warriors will be fine. The Warriors know how to win like no franchise around here since the Joe/Ronnie 49ers. The Warriors are still picking confetti out of their hair from a parade in June, and the urgency of October and early November basketball titillates few. The Warriors are developing young players who will take months and months to learn the rigors of the NBA, in order to prepare for next spring’s playoffs. The Warriors can easily finish as a 4- or 5-seed in the West and still be feared as the team to win it all.
2) And then there is the other way to look at it: OH MY GOD THE WARRIORS’ YOUNG PLAYERS CAN’T PLAY DEFENSE AND JORDAN POOLE IS IN A POST-CONTRACT FUNK AND JAMES WISEMAN MAY BE A BUST AND STEVE KERR IS MESSING WITH JONATHAN KUMINGA’S HEAD AND WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE AT SOME POINT.
While we’re here, let me offer a third thought: Let’s enjoy this new journey. This could be fun and interesting and different.
We’ve had many iterations of the Steph Dynasty. We had the innocence of 2015. We had the miracle and heartbreak of 2016. We had the KD “villains” of 2017 and 2018. We had the tragic fall of 2019. We had the Forgotten Year of 2020. We had the “You don’t want to play us next year” of 2021.
And we had the Party on the Parquet in 2022.
Now, we have what I’ll call the ‘Puzzle Solve of 2023’ — and I’m totally open to better handles than that.
Kerr and his staff now have to figure out a puzzle. They have to figure out how to get the Baby Four — Poole, Wiseman, Kuminga and Moses Moody — up to Warriors’ championship speed. That means especially on the defensive side, where championships are won. The Baby Four are not there yet, and that even goes for the offensive side as well.
Poole is seeing increased attention after his breakout spring of 2022. Kuminga and Wiseman are feeling the heat of expectation, and of playing up to Curry and Draymond Green’s standards.
But this is the compelling part, right?
Aren’t we supposed to enjoy hard work, progress and improvement in our favorite young athletes? Or is that impossibly old-fashioned and you all are ticked off because the Dubs aren’t dropping hydrogen bombs on the Sacramento Kings?
Isn’t each year a new year, with new challenges, names and journeys?
Don’t we all enjoy the process of solving the puzzle?
(I will add here that I never finished a Rubik’s Cube in my life.)
Of course, I say all this, and if the Warriors go 8-13 in their next 21, you all will be losing your minds.
But that’s another Jock Blog for another day.
The Great Warriors Puzzle Solve of 2023. Let the figuring begin.