There is no doubt the Golden State Warriors are the deepest, deadliest and most unselfish teams in the NBA. Their ability to bury opponents with dizzying second-half runs and clinical passing ensures they’re never boring.
But this season, an annoying tendency has cropped up: They play when they wanna play, and that not only drives the fans crazy, but it has the potential to drive head coach Steve Kerr berzerk.
I get it, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. This team has played a lot of basketball over the last few seasons. The three-straight NBA Finals, the Olympic appearances from Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant — and Andre Iguodala, David West, and Shaun Livingston aren’t exactly spring chickens.
However, the complacency this team has displayed so far is not worrisome yet — but it definitely leaves something to desired.
Maybe the Warriors have broken basketball to the point that anything less than a string of 20-point victories with nightly outputs of more than 35 assists while they make about half of their 3-point attempts is not fulfilling enough anymore. I’m like anyone else in Warriors’ fan base: spoiled rotten.
But there’s a question out there that we won’t soon get an answer to: When will they get serious? And, is it OK that they’re sleepwalking through the early portion of the regular?
With Curry expected to miss at least two weeks due to a sprained right ankle — that looked like a grapefruit after Monday night’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans — will this be the time the Dubs get serious and give basketball fans more than 12-minute bursts?
Discussing the Warriors’ slow starts, Iguodala recently mentioned how teams are attacking them as if it’s a playoff game. It’s a familiar refrain: Teams are trying to make their name against the defending champs.
But, does that make a lack of effort excusable?
Kerr doesn’t expect the Warriors to be playing with a Finals intensity — but he doesn’t want to see his team walk onto the court like it’s playing a pickup game at the park on the Panhandle, either.
Their carelessness with the basketball — leading to an average of 16 turnovers a game, third worst in the NBA — is problematic. But what’s more eye-popping is the bickering toward the officials.
We all know Green runs hot, but that’s what makes him the player he is. He thrives off of confrontations and slights. But what’s Durant’s excuse?
He’s been ejected three times in the last 18 games. Durant had been ejected twice in his career before the season. Durant did win a championship last season, right? Yet, he’s on edge as if people are still roasting him for his fake Twitter account.
Now don’t get the wrong idea and think I’m overly concerned about this team: the Warriors are 15-6 and a half-game behind the first place Houston Rockets, and even though they’re 4-0 on this six-game road trip, they’ve had a player ejected in three straight games, and six ejections this season.
On the season, the Warriors lead the NBA in technicals with 28 and are on pace for 92, which would be the highest for a team since the Los Angeles Clippers accumulated 90 in 2014-15.
Maybe it’s a sign of how spoiled I’ve become as a fan, but I’m anxiously waiting for the Warriors to turn it up a notch. Show us some of the seriousness we’ve become accustomed to.
And please, have fun and dial back the complaining. We’re used to the Kerr-led Warriors playing with joy, and right now — despite being the first team in NBA history to rally from two 20-point deficits in the same season — that joy isn’t there.
The Warriors are just going through the motions. When will that stop? The answer will hopefully come soon because it’ll be a test playing without Curry for an extended period.
Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game can be heard from 12-3 on the Greg Papa Show. Born and bred in San Francisco, he is a sports junkie who loves to sit in the lab (home), eats breakfast food for dinner, and has a newfound love for tequila. Follow at your own risk on Twitter @BontaHill.