While the defending champions have added an all-star this offseason in Demarcus Cousins, it hasn’t translated to team success, instead resulting in a season full of tense losses and juicy drama. Whether it’s about Kevin Durant’s impending free agency, Draymond’s issues with the team’s effort, or Cousins receiving blame for defensive struggles, there’s plenty to critique for a team failing to meet expectations.
73-9, that was the Warrior’s record the year they blew a 3-1 lead in the finals to the Cavs, ultimately resulting in Draymond Green immediately recruiting Kevin Durant to the Warriors. 67-15, that was the record the first year Durant played in Golden State, with the Dubs winning the title in dominating fashion. 58-24, that was the record last season, which was no stranger to tension between Warriors players, but still ending in another title for the Bay area.
45-21 is the record for the Warriors this season with the addition of all star Demarcus Cousins. With just 16 games left to go, it might be the second year in a row the Warriors don’t reach 60 wins. The Dubs do still have an unprecedented collection of talent in their starting lineup, so you can never count them out in the playoffs, but you can certainly question their effort in regular season games lately.
On paper, it can seem puzzling why the Warriors are struggling so much. Curry is still being phenomenal, averaging 27.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1.3 steals on 43% shooting from downtown. Durant is also adding 27.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.2 blocks on 51% shooting from the field.
Don’t forget Klay Thompson, quietly averaging 22.4 points on 40% shooting from 3. Their newest addition, Cousins is averaging 15.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game on an inefficient 45% shooting for a big man. Between those four starters, the Warriors are getting 92.7 points per game alone, which is certainly no laughing matter, so why are the Warriors struggling?
Where have the golden days gone
It seems like a foregone conclusion that the Warriors dynasty will be ending soon, with rumors of Kevin Durant leaving and Klay and Dray wanting max contracts. With all the pressure circulating, the Warriors have fought amongst each other often, usually with Draymond Green involved. Dray is the emotional leader of the team, and his attitude is accurately reflecting the disposition of the Warriors right now.
Speaking of Draymond, he unfortunately is one of the issues for the Warriors right now. Teams often double team Durant, Curry, or Thompson, leaving Green open to shoot open 3s. In previous years, he shot the 3 ball at a passable rate, requiring the defence to respect him and close out. This year, Green has seemed to lose all confidence in his shot, shooting just 25% from 3. This exposes a weakness in the Warriors, letting opposing teams play the game of let Green shoot.
Whether a result of poor team play or lingering external issues, the Warriors are definitely fairly dysfunctional right now. In the midst of a loss to the (now) 16-52 Suns, coach Steve Kerr was seen saying something along the lines of, “I’m so f***ing tired of Draymond’s **it.” When asked about it, Kerr obviously denied it, but it did seem the head coach was fed up with the feisty forward. Dray is well known for being quite vocal, prone to getting under the skin of opposing players, but it happens to his own team sometimes too.
What it means for upcoming betting odds
Draymond may not be the entire reason for the Warriors struggles, they do have four other all stars after all. Regardless of who is causing it, the Warriors are not a cohesive team right now. They’ve lost 4 of their last 6 games, and 6 of their last 10. With their three next games played on the road against playoff teams in Houston, Oklahoma City, and San Antonio, these all become pretty good games to pick against the Warriors.
While the Warriors two wins lately have come against playoff teams in Denver and Philadelphia, the Dubs just don’t look good at all right now. Adding Kevin Durant’s ankle contusion suffered in the loss to Phoenix, this upcoming three game stretch is as good a time as any. Don’t forget the Warriors are a lethal team still, with four players capable of winning a game on their own on any given night. If there ever was a good time to pick against them, this upcoming week would be it!