Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is a bit beside himself.
Golden State lost their eighth straight road game to start the season on Wednesday, a 130-119 blowout at the hands of the Phoenix Suns. Everything that has plagued the Warriors this season reared it’s ugly head. Poor defense, bad shot selection, over-fouling and just a general malaise. It was so bad, Stephen Curry scored 50 points and they still lost by 11.
Kerr didn’t mince words when describing how the 6-9 Warriors look right now during his postgame presser.
“For right now anyway, we’re just scattered,” Kerr said. “It’s a pick-up game. It’s a pick-up game out there. There’s no execution at either end, no commitment to the group to get three stops in a row and execute on offense.”
Kerr got more specific with what he means by execution.
“Share the ball,” he continued. “If somebody’s open, throw it to them. If somebody helps on a rotation, crack back and block out the big guy. If things aren’t going well, somebody call the group into the foul line and motivate the group. All that stuff is missing right now. I saw a lot of hanging heads. I think we’re feeling sorry for ourselves and nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. Everyone can’t wait to play us and kick our ass.
“We’ve had a lot of success and a lot of fun, and joy, beating people over the years, and teams don’t forget that. They’re having their fun now, as they should. I’ve always thought the game rewards you if you commit to the game. If you really compete together, shots go in, calls go your way, breaks fall your way. We’re not earning any of that stuff, that’s why we’re 0-8 on the road.”
Kerr believes the Warriors’ overall style of play is compounding things. When Golden State doesn’t run their sets properly on offense, it doesn’t fatigue the other team defensively. Then on the other end, their opponent’s shots are more likely to fall because they have more energy. This is especially true when the Warriors give up open looks. The Suns shot over 52% on Wednesday night.
“When you come down and you don’t make a team guard, and you just shoot the first open shot, guys aren’t tired at all, Kerr said. “They’re not having to fight defensively, so everybody comes down and they’re feeling good. Like ‘I didn’t have to guard at the other end, now I’m wide open.’
“There’s not collective grit. We lack grit right now. And when you don’t have grit, the game is really easy for the other team. These are NBA players. They spent all summer shooting thousands of jump shots just like our guys do. So when those jumpers are easy and the game is easy and they don’t feel any physicality, it’s a Drew League game. We’re playing a Drew League game right now.”
The good news is it’s still very early. The Warriors have played just 15 of their 82 regular season games and the Western Conference is still wide open.
“We’re never going to panic,” Kerr said. There’s no point in panicking. What we have to do is stay with it and find it. In order to find it, we’ve got to get everybody on board and on the same page in terms of just worrying about winning.”