There was no reason for Steve Kerr to introduce Stephen Curry against the bucks in the fourth quarter on Friday.
Not so long ago, such a development meant a blowout win – when the Warriors went 73-9 in the 2015/16 season, Curry 19 put out fourth quarters. Nowadays it means yet another demoralizing defeat.
Curry watched from the bench as Milwaukee ended a Christmas Day between 138 and 99, which ended two days after a 125-99 loss to the nets from the sidelines. While he’s returned from a hand injury that looks energetic, most of his teammates have flopped. A Golden State group, convinced that a high playoff seed was achievable in the Western Conference playoffs, is now facing the brutal reality that it may not be that good.
Steph Curry: “We have played two teams with championship goals. We understand that this is the level we need to reach, but we are just nowhere near that.”
– Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) December 25, 2020
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Of course, there are some facts worth mentioning before the warriors get grilled. They lost Klay Thompson for the season and are without injured defender Draymond Green. Your first two games have played against perhaps the best squads in the Eastern Conference. There is no guarantee that Green will stay healthy for the rest of the campaign, however, and the schedule will never completely fade in a difficult league.
Strikers Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. performed particularly well against the Nets and Bucks. These are players that the team without Thompson has to distinguish. Instead, they were negative.
Wiggins looked lifeless on both ends and did not provide the hit or all-round high-level defense required for a $ 29.5 million contract. Oubre shot 4 of 24 out of the ground (16.6 percent) and 0 out of 11 from below. His ISO dribbling in jumpers is currently not working.
Oubre is likely to bounce back, if not to a star level, given his continued strong performance at Phoenix last season. But Wiggins’ inconsistencies have long been a problem in Minnesota, and his expectations are far higher than Oubre’s.
James Wiseman, a mobile big, was a bright spot, but given Wiggins’ poor game, it’s easy to wonder if his long-term future would have been even better alongside D’Angelo Russell, the pick-. And roll maestro acted on the 2020 deadline to acquire Wiggins.
Next up for the Warriors is a trip to Chicago, where the cops play similarly lazy basketball. With hopes for the 2020-21 season suddenly softened, Curry may be able to bankrupt early in the fourth quarter, this time with a huge head start to give the much-needed boost.
At this point, however, the warriors would be content with almost anything better than the results against the nets and bucks.