Frustrations are high in the Golden State Warriors clubhouse as of the moment. The players are being erratic and coaches can’t seem to get everyone on the same page, so as a result, there’s failure to establish legit rhythm and momentum. Such is the case for pretty much the whole season.
If that’s not enough, their veteran floor general, Chris Paul, who was brought in this past off-season to be an added ball-handler and leader, fractured his hand and will need surgery. He is currently without a timetable to return.
The Dubs eventually won, 113-109, to escape the stigma of losing to the team with the worst record in the league, but the news is a tough blow nonetheless. Keep in mind that this is a mere two days after their defensive guard, Gary Payton II, was also reported to miss several weeks because of a strained hamstring.
While Paul is averaging a career-low 8.9 points on the season, he’s still generally doing his job as a facilitator and a pesky defender as he is dishing out 7.2 assists and collecting 1.1 steals per game. It’s obvious he’s an 18-year vet who’s hungry for that elusive NBA championship.
“That’s tough. I feel so bad for Chris. I know he’s had a couple of hand surgeries before, I believe. Maybe it was on the other hand. So I’m holding it and instantly was worried. Just got the word after walking off the floor. I feel terrible for Chris and obviously guys will step up and be ready to play. We’ve got to hold down the fort without him.”
The Warriors would most probably take it easy on Paul, considering he’s 38 years old and has a ton of wear and tear. What’s good for now is that there’s a great possibility that he’ll be back by the time the playoff or play-in grind comes.
Here’s what’s NOT good, though: the energy isn’t good and you could tell self-doubt is brewing with all the Ls they’re taking and the in-team turmoil.
Outside of the 6-1 start, which feels like a distant memory now, and the five-game winning streak in late December, something that’s perhaps also forgotten since they have gone just 2-4 over their last six, the team hasn’t done anything encouraging.
Note that a handful of those defeats were late-game collapses too, including these three:
November 30, 2023 – Blew a 24-point lead to the Sacramento Kings, still led by five with 50 seconds remaining.
December 3, 2023 – Blew a 22-point lead to the LA Clippers, still led by five with 57 seconds remaining.
January 5, 2024 – Blew an 18-point lead to the Denver Nuggets in the final 6:35 minutes. Nikola Jokic buried a buzzer-beating, hail-mary three-pointer to complete the comeback.
The Warriors are one game below .500 at 17-18, which is only currently good for 10th in the Western Conference, also the final spot in the play-in seedings.
Over reliance on Stephen Curry, Draymond Green’s antics, Klay Thompson’s rough shooting, young guys getting frustrated in their playing time, among others, are all factors into the Dubs’ very challenging campaign. However, they’re still four-time champions whose core is still present and just won in 2022. They are not that refined anymore, but still capable.
Green has just been re-instated after missing 12 games, so that’s at least one semi-bright spot for the team. We’ll have to see whether or not he can stop being violent on the court, though.
Next on the team’s calendar are the Toronto Raptors, New Orleans Pelicans, and Chicago Bulls for their next three outings. All are winnable, so we’ll see if they can gain even a bit of steam.