Golden State started 24-0 this season before losing at Milwaukee. In that game, the Warriors were missing Harrison Barnes, and Thompson himself was out of rhythm in his first game back after an ankle injury.
“Yeah, it was frustrating, but that’s hoops,” Thompson said of that game, in a Q&A with The Washington Post’s Tim Bontemps. “That’s basketball. I was lucky it wasn’t that bad. It did suck, but we were gonna lose eventually. If we were completely healthy, we probably would still be undefeated, but Milwaukee caught us at a great time and they played a great game, so that’s hoops.”
Golden State’s only other loss this season came at Dallas without Stephen Curry, with the team clearly unsure how to cope without him.
Still, anything can happen in basketball, and obviously teams are going to be better with a fully healthy contingent of their best players on the floor. But there was more at work in that Milwaukee game. It was the end of a seven-game road trip and the team had played a double-overtime game in Boston the night before. Those are tough conditions for any team.
Still, at the time, Thompson believed the Warriors beat themselves. Perhaps they did, but who’s to say that even a fully healthy Warriors team doesn’t have an unexpectedly cold-shooting game that night or in a night shortly after that hypothetical victory?