Warriors have meeting to address chemistry: ‘We need to get back to playing for each other’ | The Mercury News
The Warriors circled up in the locker room following a disappointing loss to the Dallas Mavericks to re-group.
The message from team leaders is for players to re-focus on the collective and push individual needs to the back burner. Without throwing any teammates under the bus, some Warriors and coach Steve Kerr insinuated that some players are splintering off to tend to personal agendas. Kerr, at the podium after the team meeting, mentioned some players have a pressure to perform that’s become palpable.
“We need to get back to playing for each other,” Gary Payton II said Monday at practice. “I’m pretty sure you can see it on the court, it’s just a disconnect that we have, especially on defense. And I think our offense is predicated on our defense, and it should be the other way around.”
"We have to get to that point, for sure, before it's too late."— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 31, 2023
Steph on the Warriors not having a dependable five-man unit pic.twitter.com/7tKdoZ5gkS
The Warriors are confident in the team’s leadership. But sitting with a 15-17 record and in 11th place in the Western Conference, it’s still not translating to the court.
“We haven’t found that grit that every good team needs, where you pull together and you just play for the group,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We are not there yet. And that’s a problem. We have great guys, but until every team connects in a way that is solely dedicated to winning each game, then we are going to be stuck in this place.”
Kerr didn’t mention Green, who is away from the team until the league rules him ready to return. He didn’t mention Klay Thompson, who labored through a rough 1-of-11 shooting night against the Mavericks and found himself benched down the stretch as he tries (perhaps too hard) to rediscover a fading groove. After a hot stretch, he’s 8-of-34 shooting during this losing streak.
Kerr didn’t mention Jonathan Kuminga, whose annoyance about his fluctuating role in an all-important third season has been obvious to all. He didn’t mention Andrew Wiggins, who is coming off the bench for the first time in his life. He didn’t mention Moses Moody, who was bumped back to the 11th man against the Mavericks after Gary Payton II’s return, logging zero minutes one game after he was terrific in a brief opportunity.
Kerr says he tinkered with the starting lineup in hopes of a defensive "boost" and unlocking Steph by pairing him with CP3 pic.twitter.com/rHKdFqTVKh— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) December 31, 2023
League personnel are certainly prepared for a Siakam trade to follow suit. Before this weekend’s deal, Siakam was the Toronto veteran whom rival executives were pegging as the most likely Raptor to be dealt, particularly after the team nearly sent Siakam to the Atlanta Hawks this summer, league sources told Yahoo Sports. He is under an expiring contract after his own extension talks fell short of a deal this fall. In addition to Atlanta, the Kings and Pacers have been routinely mentioned by NBA figures as potential suitors for Siakam.
Yet, as the losing skid climbed from one unthinkable number to another, Cunningham got better and better. There were multiple 40-point performances and even more 30-point performances. The turnovers decreased. The 3-point percentage increased. The wins weren’t there, but Cunningham showed that Detroit had a star in the making.
The evolution continued Saturday night when Detroit finally slayed the Wicked Witch and ended its losing skid at 28 games with a 129-127 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Cunningham did what “that guy” is supposed to do and helped carry the Pistons to a victory in the second half. The 22-year-old scored 26 of his 30 points in the final 24 minutes. He had seven of his 12 assists in that span, too. Cunningham played 38 minutes without recording a turnover.
Wemby looked every bit of 7'4" on this play against Boston pic.twitter.com/sTkujr0t3a— NBA (@NBA) January 1, 2024
In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:
Switches were a heavy part of the game plan against Dončić, and it inferred Kerr and the coaching staff’s overarching strategy against him: let him isolate and try to score, and hope that he won’t have the scoring support behind him to get the Dallas Mavericks over the hump.
On the surface, it doesn’t sound like a bad game plan — after all, the Warriors have tried similar approaches in the past against Dončić and have succeeded with it. On paper, they still have the personnel to send out the matchups they’re fine with against Dončić on switches.
With Trayce Jackson-Davis as the starting center over Kevon Looney, he was tasked as the initial switch-big trusted with holding his own against Dončić, who felt it necessary to test the rookie immediately by telling Jackson-Davis’ man to come over and set a screen for him to induce the switch.
As it stands right now on the last day of the year, here are the current Pac Div standings:
15-17 is notttt the record the Dubs would like to have after 32 games. But they are only 4.5 games back from the best record in the division. Onward to 2023!