Oakland (KRON) – The Golden State Warriors were locked in during practice Friday morning in Oakland. This comes following a Thursday night win over the Dallas Mavericks who were without former Warrior Harrison Barnes due to injury. Golden State now has a new challenge ahead of them: the San Antonio Spurs.
San Antonio is still without star forward Kawhi Leonard who’s been dealing with an injury all season long. The mysterious story has stung the Spurs this year. They don’t look close to being the firehouse they once were. LaMarcus Aldridge leads the way, but the team clearly lacks star power with Leonard out. The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder both have better rosters and are built in ways to take out the Warriors the Spurs can’t.
Regardless, it’s always fun for coach Steve Kerr to go up against his longtime mentor and friend Gregg Popovich. The Spurs are third in the Western Conference, thanks to an incredible 22 and 6 record on their home floor. But the team has struggled on the road, going below .500 with a 13 and 15 record. And playing at Oracle is no easy task.
“I think they’re just doing what they always do, which is compete at a high level and stay in every game because their defense is top three year after year after year.” Kerr said. “No matter what happens, it’s death and taxes. There they are.”
Golden State has lost three out of their last five games. The team has lacked energy in the first half of games, resulting in them having to either play from behind or completely getting blown out like they did in Utah against the Jazz and at home against the Thunder.
The Warriors do look tired after making it to the Finals three years in a row. The preseason China trip didn’t help either. They need to get to the All-Star break healthy now. That’s priority number one.
During the All-Star break, the Player’s Union and Officials Union are expected to meet to discuss the ongoing conflict between players and referees. Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Steve Kerr have all been prone to technical fouls or ejections this season. However, they’re not alone. It’s been a league-wide issue and something they hope is fixed for the later part of the year.
Warriors General Manager sat with the team recently to let them know that the complaining needs to come to an end. Kerr says he will give Green advice on how to deal with his emotions during a game, but did not reveal how the conversation went during his media session in practice.
“That’s private,” Kerr said. “The only thing I will say is that Draymond is one of the most competitive people I’ve ever met and I love his edge, we love his fire and having to channel that is going to be difficult and that’s the goal.”
Kerr also said he’s not concerned with this recent slide by the team.
“It’s a long season, it’s a hard season,” Kerr said. “I think with our team we’ve had periods of frustration. We’ve had periods of boredom. Maybe periods of lack of focus. We’ve had some patches of great play, followed by lackluster play. And yet here we are, we have the best record in the league and we’re doing fine. We’ll keep going and keep moving forward.”
And the Warriors will move forward, hosting the Spurs and the Suns before heading to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers before the All-Star break.
Make sure you tune into KRON4 Hoop Session for all of your local Bay Area basketball coverage, featuring the Warriors and more. The show airs on February 17 at 11 p.m. on KRON 4.