You could make the case that this was the worst week the Golden State Warriors have suffered in the Steve Kerr era, at least as far as adversity is concerned. The final week of the 2016 season, which culminated in nearly unbelievable NBA Finals heartbreak, certainly stings the most. Times when Steph Curry has been dealt injuries certainly feel the cruelest.
But this week? The team got bad news on Curry’s injury and Draymond Green’s. They played horrible basketball. And, oh yeah, Green and Kevin Durant were involved in an altercation that spilled from the court, to the locker room, and to the media, and it is very much still ongoing.
The week is in the rearview mirror, but the ramifications will live on. Let’s rewind.
Performance this week
Point differential: -34
Year to date
Offensive rating: 2nd (114.7)
Defensive rating: 18th (108.8)
Net rating: 5th (6.0)
Conference standings: 2nd (0 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers)
The week’s results
Game #14: Los Angeles Clippers 121, Golden State Warriors 116 (OT)
Well then. The miserable week started here, in more ways than one. After falling behind by quite a bit, the Warriors mounted a crazy comeback in the final minutes. With six seconds left on the clock of a tied game, Draymond Green grabbed a rebound, and began to push the ball up the court. Kevin Durant called for the ball, didn’t get it, and Green ultimately had a turnover, while he and Durant eventually had a spat.
The team lost in overtime, but it wasn’t the result on the court that was the turbulence from this game.
Top performer: Kevin Durant - 33 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, 10-24 FG
Game #15: Golden State Warriors 110, Atlanta Hawks 103
With no Steph Curry or Draymond Green, the Warriors struggled to create separation from the lottery-bound Hawks. But the old third-quarter Warriors returned in this one, with a 33-24 frame that helped put away Atlanta.
Top performer: Jonas Jerebko - 14 points, 13 rebounds, 5-10 FG, 4-7 3FG
Game #16: Houston Rockets 107, Golden State Warriors 86
So far this season, the Rockets have not had the excellent defense that powered them to within a game of the NBA Finals a year ago. But the discombobulated Warriors were just what the doctor ordered. In Golden State’s worst offensive performance of the year, the team mustered an offensive rating of just 100.1, while failing to score more than 23 points in any quarter. It was ugly.
Top performer: Kevon Looney - 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5-7 FG
Game #17: Dallas Mavericks 112, Golden State Warriors 109
Still without Steph Curry and Draymond Green, the Warriors star-studded duo of Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson was outplayed by former Warrior Harrison Barnes and sensational 19-year old rookie Luka Doncic. In a fairly nondescript game, Golden State simply wasn’t as good as a mediocre but pesky Dallas team.
Top performer: Damion Lee - 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, 4-8 FG, 3-5 3FG
Game #18: San Antonio Spurs 104, Golden State Warriors 92
Steve Kerr’s old friend Gregg Popovich assured that the Warriors left Texas without a single win. The Warriors again struggled to score - after putting up 27 points in the first quarter, they had just 21, 22, and 22 the rest of the way, resulting in a dismal offensive rating of 96.9. This was not the Warriors team we know and love.
Top performer: Quinn Cook - 16 points, 8 rebounds, 7-12 FG
The week’s big stories
Certainly the biggest story - of the week, of the season, of the year - is the altercation between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. That story carried through the whole week, and, while it’s gotten better, it certainly is carrying into the upcoming week as well. This isn’t going to simply go away.
Kerr searches for a lineup
With the team stumbling, Steve Kerr has been playing with lineups, trying to find the right pieces to the puzzle. When Draymond Green was first injured, he was replaced in the starting lineup by Jordan Bell, but that quickly changed to Jonas Jerebko. Quinn Cook initially took over starting duties for the injured Steph Curry, but was eventually replaced by Andre Iguodala.
And after starting the first 16 games of the season, Damian Jones has moved to the bench, with Kevon Looney taking over the role of starting center - though Jones has played his third and fourth-highest number of minutes in those bench games.
Stumbling without stars
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson are stars, but the Warriors very clearly missed their offensive and defensive motors - Steph Curry and Draymond Green, respectively.
Over the last week - which saw Curry miss all five games, and Green miss three - the team was 24th in offensive rating and 23rd in defensive rating. Even without two All-Stars, the team is too talented to falter like that.