Stephen Curry. When he speaks it’s important. Even when he says things that might seem cliche or expected, there’s usually a nugget of insight within. After Thursday’s game, Curry was his usual candid self. The Warriors had just lost by 19 points to a Thunder team that was 0-6 on the road entering the game. The Warriors had just given up at least 120 points for the sixth time in the past seven games. But Curry insisted that the mood within the team was not panic, frustration, or despair.
“We’re trying to turn things around as quick as possible,” Curry said. “But panic mode, desperate mode, that really doesn’t do any good. We’re not in a good place right now.”
There were signs of the Warriors’ struggles on the court. Their defense against the Thunder wasn’t good. Their offense, while showing some signs of life, still wasn’t crisp. With Draymond Green still sidelined, the Warriors were still at a disadvantage. But the Warriors, at least outwardly, aren’t showing signs of a team that feels its season is unraveling.
Part of that is their leadership. They still have Curry, who’s been through plenty of adversity and come out on top. They have Steve Kerr, who has guided this team through both the peaks and valleys of the past half-decade.
They also have a new voice in Paul, who was on the court during the postgame meeting, trying to help the team figure it out. The Thunder, Thursday’s opponent, were one of the worst teams in the league. But there was Paul, who likely had other things he could have been doing, standing on the court with the Warriors, going through the paces.
Though he was on the opposite side Thursday, Kerr was effusive in his praise for Paul before the game, talking about how the guard “changed everything” for the Phoenix Suns last season. The Warriors, in the midst of a losing streak, have to start showing more of that kind of leadership themselves.
Part of that might have been happening on their side of the black curtain. It’s an unusual move for a postgame scene. But the Warriors’ situation might call for it. After the game, Curry looked around and saw his younger teammates on the court, willing to put in the work to get better.
Though none of the veterans who had dressed out for Thursday’s game were there, that wasn’t necessarily a negative. It shows that the younger players, the newcomers, are staying engaged. Kuminga, who played with confidence Thursday, was out there. Payton, who hasn’t seen much court time this season, was out there.
The Warriors, Curry stressed, can’t afford to panic. There’s still plenty of time left in the season. There’s still a ton of talent on this roster. And it’s not like anyone in the locker room, from the coaching staff on down, has given up.
For positive news, they just have to look at the recent past. The Warriors have as much potential as they had just a few weeks ago, when they were the hottest team in the NBA. They haven’t suddenly lost the qualities that made them that.
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