The Golden State Warriors have the best record in the league, the NBA’s most potent offense and the reigning two-time MVP. But if you take a closer look at their most recent results, the defending Western Conference champs look very vulnerable.
Their slide can be traced back to Kevin Durant’s knee injury, which he sustained against the Wizards on March 1. Since that time, Golden State has gone 2-5 and is riding a three-game skid that has cut its lead over the Spurs to a half-game for the NBA’s best record.
But if you think Warriors head coach is in full-blown panic mode, think again.
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“This is going to sound crazy but I kind of like it,” Kerr told reporters when asked about the slump. “I actually kind of like it. I think we need some adversity. We obviously have some, probably for the first time in 2 ½ years in terms of the regular season.
“I think adversity can help. As I said it forces you to kind of examine what you’re doing, clean some things up. Get right. I think this is going to be good for us in the long run because we’re going to tighten up a lot of things.
“I thought last year we just kept winning through a lot of the slippage late in the season.”
The Warriors opted not to rest their starters down the stretch last season as they chased the single-season record for wins – which they eventually surpassed. But the pursuit appeared to take its toll as Golden State ran out of gas when it mattered most, becoming the first team in Finals history to squander a 3-1 lead against the Cavaliers.
Golden State’s pursuit for a second title in three years might hinge on how quickly the team can reintegrate Durant back into the offense. If the Warriors have problems jelling before the second round of the playoffs – where they could meet the Rockets – they could face either an extended series or possibly an early exit.