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The Warriors’ inconsistent focus is more of a trend than an anomaly

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Lock in, DubNation!

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Winning, regardless of the means, is the perfect cover for flaws. With the rate that the Warriors have been winning this season and the three prior, it’s like they are wearing champagne stained shades. These shades do more than just block the rays from the other 29 teams in the league, they apparently enable the Warriors to be far-sighted and look ahead to May and June.

It is easy to say that this is an overreaction. I get it. But get what the ‘Dubs said after the 116-108 loss to to the Rockets.

Kevin Durant said that the loss doesn’t matter because the “season starts over in the playoffs anyway.” Draymond Green basically chalked it up to the dog days of the NBA Season when he said that It was game 47 or 48. Coach Steve Kerr said that securing home court advantage is “probably the number one goal”

“Season starts over in the playoffs?”

“What game is this? 47? or 48?”

“Home court is PROBABLY the number one goal”

SMDH!

None of this would be a concern if this lull was an outlier. The truth is that this apathetic attitude on and off the court isn’t much of an outlier anymore. It’s a trend. It’s a trend that developed by the Warriors coming out flat many of their games only to turn it on during the third quarter and win.

Is this better?

In Stephen Curry’s return to lineup against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Golden State Warriors were engaged. In addition to Curry exploding for 38 points, the ‘Dubs were active on the glass-snagging 38 rebounds and swatting 6 shots. They dominated in transition, out scoring Memphis 20-8 on fast break points. Warriors Win.

Or is this worse?

The Warriors played disinterred basketball against the visiting Charlotte Hornets the night before the Grizzlies game. The Hornets capitalized on the Warriors’ apathy by out hustling them and outscoring them in the paint. For whatever reason, the Warriors double-teamed Dwight Howard and it backfired. The Hornets had 12 steals to the Warriors’6. Warriors lost.

Is this better?

On MLK Day, the Warriors withstood the Cleveland Cavaliers’ best shot. Golden State snatched control of the game late in the 3rd quarter, and rolled to a 118-108 victory. The difference? The Warriors hustled and was engaged on defense. They forced the Cavs to turn the ball over 16 times. They were also active on the glass with 48 rebounds, plus key stops down the stretch.

Or is this worse?

The Warriors blew a 27 point lead to the Toronto Raptors the game before. Golden State committed 20 fouls and was out rebounded 49-29. The Warriors let up and let the Raptors back into the game. Stephen Curry iced the game with a pair of free throws and last minute buckets. Warriors win.

Is this better?

The Chicago Bulls outplayed the Warriors in the first half. The Warriors committed 15 turnovers and the Bulls capitalized . The Bulls racked up 26 fast break points because the Warriors’ transition defense lacked . Warriors made adjustments in second half and turned it on during the 3rd quarter. Warriors win.

Or is this worse?

The Warriors were outplayed by a obsessed, desperate, and thirsty Houston Rockets team. The ‘Dubs were flat from the start and the Rockets took advantage. Eventually the Warriors became more engaged in the second half and chipped away at Houston’s 17 point lead until they were up 99-96 with over nine minutes remaining in the game. Curry’s two turnovers in crush time killed the Warriors momentum and any chance of stealing a victory. Warriors lose by 8. Why? because of 19 turnovers, 24 fouls and 33 rebounds to the Rockets’ 46.

This trend is also the reason why the Warriors road record is better than their home record this year. It’s also the reason why they lost to inferior teams such as the Kings, Hornets, and Nuggets. It was also the reason why the Rockets won on Saturday.

Granted, I know that the Warriors are in great shape. I know that they have a three-game lead in the West. I know that it’s difficult to focus and get up for all 82 games. I get all of that. However, that’s not really the point here. The point is the Warriors have been fortunate to win games by playing sloppy in the first half only to focus and win in the second. The careless turnovers and slippage in defense have been a constant theme in the first half of the season.

They are aware of all of the this but yet, they don’t play with the sense of urgency sometimes when they play the Bostons, OKCs, the Houstons. Not only that, they play down to the lower rungs of the league and end up losing games they were heavily favored in. It may not matter much now, but they will for playoff seeding.

The Warriors must take those shades off and put some bifocals on and focus. Focus on cleaning up those turnovers and being more disciplined on defense than they are. Focus on being relentless when they have big leads. Develop those good habits that will continue through the playoffs. Either do that or be blinded by lame memes and gifs all summer reminding you of your failures if you come up short in June.