Apparently we do. So let’s dive right in with the pregame keys to victory.
The key: Have energy, spark, and confidence; look well-rested but ready.
The outcome: The most impressive part of the game for the Warriors came in the second half of the first quarter. After falling behind early — and big — they found the energy and confidence to not roll over, and even held a lead late in the first quarter.
But beyond that five or six minute surge, it was a listless, feckless, lifeless loss. The Warriors had a week to get ready to return to action, and they did not look like it.
Grading the key: 1.5 out of 10
The key: Spirited defensive effort against Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
The outcome: The Warriors didn’t really do anything well in LA, but they were certainly better on defense than on offense.
That really showed up in the way the team defended George, who shot just 5-for-14 (though he did finish with a team-high +34). As for Leonard? Yeah that didn’t work super well.
Leonard was far and away the best player on the court on Thursday night, and finished with 28 points on 10-for-17 shooting. The Warriors have struggled with stars all year, and Thursday was no exception.
Grading the key: 2.5 out of 10.
The key: Keep the ball moving.
The outcome: The Warriors only recorded 20 assists, while registering 16 turnovers. But it was even worse than the stats indicate, because 8 of those assists were registered in the fourth quarter, which was full garbage time. The Dubs had only 12 assists in the first three frames, with only 7 of those coming from the starting lineup.
It was so, so stagnant.
Grading the key: 2 out of 10.
The key: Steph Curry channel that All-Star energy.
The outcome: Curry was given no favors by his team on Thursday. LA sold out to keep him from beating them, and were OK with any other Warrior doing damage. No Warrior was up to the task.
But even seen through that lens, it was a very poor Curry game — perhaps his worst of the season. He registered just 14 points, and shot 6-for-16 from the field, and a mere 1-for-8 from distance. He’s had a magical season, but was far from that on Thursday.
Grading the key: 1 out of 10.
Hopefully he and the entire team can shake it off.