As up and down as the primary 12 video games of the Golden State Warriors‘ new season have been, no contest has underscored the distinction between Stephen Curry‘s previous and current basketball actuality greater than Thursday’s 114-104 loss to the Denver Nuggets. As a lot as each Curry and coach Steve Kerr tried to hammer dwelling the purpose that the Warriors’ protection has to play with extra physicality so as to win, there was one other problem that is simply as essential and grew extra prominently all through the sport. An problem that can outline the course of how the subsequent 4 months of the group’s season performs out: Curry’s greatness is not sufficient to overcome lackluster offensive manufacturing from these round him. For the primary time all season, the Warriors dropped a recreation by which the 32-year-old two-time MVP scored not less than 30 factors.
“I think it’s just a matter of our team connecting and figuring out who we are and what we are,” Kerr mentioned throughout a videoconference with reporters, when requested how to maintain Curry from getting annoyed when he is not getting sufficient assist. “It’s going to take some time because of the moving parts, new additions, also trying to ease James [Wiseman] along. So you look at Steph’s line obviously great scoring night, 35 points, but seven turnovers, Draymond [Green] had five. We’re not really in sync yet. And that’s going to take time.”
To Kerr’s level, the Warriors are nonetheless making an attempt to weave in Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. into the offense and each gamers are nonetheless adjusting to the best way Curry performs the sport. Green had an uncharacteristically off night time on each ends of the ground, however since his return from an early-season foot damage and conditioning points due to COVID-19 protocols, he has confirmed to be a useful antidote in getting the offense transferring and getting Curry in place to function.
Kerr acknowledged that his crew is nonetheless determining one of the simplest ways to combine Wiseman and hasn’t gotten comfy throwing him lobs within the paint but. But if ever there was an evening to remind Curry that Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala weren’t by his aspect to take some strain off his shoulders, this was it.
After Curry scored 12 factors within the first quarter, the Warriors appeared to lose their approach. Wiggins and Oubre missed open appears to be like all through the night time, Green had no affect on the offensive finish and the bench did not have many solutions in opposition to a Nuggets crew that likes to rise up and down the ground. The beginning unit has proven solely flashes of rhythm over the primary month of the season and continues to wrestle to string collectively stable performances.
“We’ve had some good days, some bad days,” Curry mentioned. “Twelve games in we got to understand what we can do better, especially offensively, just getting in a little bit more flow. And then living up to that expectation of what we’re supposed to do defensively, and that’s just consistent energy. Night to night it’s hard with a new group when you’re playing really talented teams … just be real with ourselves and what we need to do better. Not get in our feelings when we don’t play well.”
Kerr echoed comparable sentiments in reiterating that he believes the offense will come collectively over time. The veteran coach seems way more involved about getting his protection to play with extra consistency than an offense that is nonetheless making an attempt to find its approach with a 19-year-old heart. But as teammates proceed to say they want to do a greater job of enjoying off Curry, it is value noting that there are occasions when Wiggins and Oubre nonetheless do not appear positive about precisely the place they want to be on the ground. While making an attempt to take accountability for a few of his personal shortcomings on Thursday, Curry hinted at the truth that the Warriors are nonetheless wrestling with how to work greatest off each other.
“Just keep being aggressive and being smart with the basketball,” Curry mentioned, when requested what he can do to assist his teammates really feel extra comfy. “There’s a couple times tonight, for instance, where you start to rush a little bit. That aggressiveness turns into getting yourself in trouble and a couple untimely turnovers in that situation. I think offensively I got going creating my own shot and then we didn’t get to that next level where I’m moving it, we have good flow, and things kind of got a little stagnant pretty quick in that first quarter.”
Curry’s minus-21 was the second-worst plus/minus in his profession throughout a recreation by which he scored not less than 30 factors, in accordance to ESPN Stats and Information analysis. As has been the case at varied factors all year long, he is making an attempt to drive the motion when he sees that he is not getting the assistance he grew accustomed to when Thompson, Durant and Iguodala have been on the ground. Curry continues to pump the outward positivity by way of nights like these that supply a reminder that even when he performs 38 minutes and scores 35 factors, that also will not be sufficient as a result of the margin for error on this crew is so small.
“It’s not every time we lose and have a bad night, there’s no panic,” Curry mentioned. “It’s understanding we’re 12 games into a new lineup and a new look, and some nights it’s going to look really, really great, some nights it might look really bad. It just kind of comes with the territory.”