The 2022-23 NBA season has not been particularly fun for the Golden State Warriors and their fans (so far, at least). Playing as the much-targeted defending champions, they appear to have that classic hangover, which is on top of dealing with a number of injuries. They are currently just 34-30, unsure of having homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and have gone under .500 multiple times on the season.

Still, it should be made clear that the main core – Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and head coach Steve Kerr – are still there, and that they just led a championship run. Andre Iguodala isn’t forgotten here, but he has been mostly out with injuries and playing limited minutes since last year.

Nevertheless, they are wily veterans to the nth degree by now, fully understanding of when, where, and how to turn things up a notch. Here’s Thompson issuing a warning just days ago, reminiscent of what Curry said before the ’21-22 campaign:

You can call it being too braggadocious, but what can you really say if it comes from a four-time champ who’s also one of the best pure shooters in history and a future Hall-of-Famer? Besides, they have indeed been pretty banged up as their main rotation has been incomplete in at least 28 of the 64 games this season.

One telling stat in all of that is their offense. They are still first in three-point field goals (16.5) and assists (29.6), and second in points (118.2) all while trying to continuously trying to fill the countless number of absences all throughout the year.

The reason for that, which other contenders are most probably lacking in at least one area, are culture, elite front office work, excellent coaching, and the players’ trust in the system – all have been intact ever since Kerr came aboard in 2014 (excluding the injury-plagued ’19-20 and ’20-21).


The supporting cast

Curry (34), Thompson (32), and Green (32) are all way into their 30s now, and are likely down to their last couple of runs as elites, but they will remain a force until the last gasp of their prime years. What’s aiding that, and also another reason why they are still the way they are, is youth emerging in the roster, most notably Jordan Poole, Curry’s eyed heir apparent.

Poole broke out in ’21-22, en route to helping the team win a title, and though he’s had an up-and-down ’22-23, the current trend is moving upwards. He’s averaging 21.0 points per game in the season, third on the team behind Steph and Klay. Andrew Wiggins, meanwhile, now a fourth-year Warrior, has turned into a defensive asset over the last year or so, so he too has been quite the boost in the supposedly aging Warriors squad. Then, there’s Kevon Looney and Jonathan Kuminga, two sizable players in the front court. Don’t be shocked if the latter breaks out soon.

The three recent wins, Curry and Iggy’s returns

The active five-game winning streak, especially the three recent wins, should also paint a good picture. It featured their patented comeback and barrage of offense through fast-paced action, crisp passing and sweet shooting, all done without Curry and Wiggins.

The Dubs erased three-consecutive double-digit leads versus the Portland Trail Blazers, LA Clippers, and New Orleans Pelicans – the one against the Blazers had them trailing by as much as 25 but ended up with an 18-point victory, while the Clippers one featured a 42-16 throttling in the third quarter, right after they went down by 12.

What’s crazier is that’s not all. It may start to get even scarier for the league very soon as Curry is about to return from an 11-game absence, alongside Iggy, the team’s resident elder statesman.

So, yeah. As much as they have stumbled, teams better recognize that none of them can afford to downplay the defending champions, particularly come playoff time.