1:01 a.m. ET
- Kendra AndrewsESPN
MINNEAPOLIS — After accumulating their worst period of the season during February, the Golden State Warriors were looking to turn the page when they came out of the All-Star break and the calendar turned to March.
But instead, it was the same – and perhaps worse – as they let the Minnesota Timberwolves score the most points by an opponent this season on their way to a 129-114 loss.
The Warriors have now lost three of their past four games and have only a half-game advantage over the Memphis Grizzlies to finish second in the Western Conference standings.
But unlike the Warriors’ two other losses—the meltdowns to the Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Mavericks—their losses to the Timberwolves lacked every bit of cohesion and combat.
“This is the first time I’ve sensed a breakdown in our relationship and that should be the exception rather than the rule,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “So this is the most important thing for me and I’m looking forward.”
After reviewing the film from the Warriors’ games against Denver and Dallas, Kerr said he liked the way his team played through the final quarter of both games.
He felt that the defense was good, but more importantly, the Golden State played with energy that helps them thrive. But on Tuesday in Minneapolis, all that was missing.
“[I saw it] Everywhere,” Kerr said of how the lack of communication played out against the Timberwolves. It is not just a tangible thing so much as a feeling and energy – a collective spirit. I didn’t like the energy or spirit tonight.”
While Kerr says his team’s breakup isn’t a tangible black-and-white concept, Stephen Currywho led the Warriors with 34 points, believes it can be traced back to something very real.
“We have a lot of different trainings and formations and we try to make adjustments quickly,” Curry said. “We have to be more in sync as a unit of five.
The warriors were without them Draymond Green For 24 games, including 7 seconds played on January 9 when Klay Thompson is back. Meanwhile, Thompson was not a consistent player for the Warriors due to his minute limitations and not playing at the end of one of the consecutive games. Andre Iguodala He missed 15 out of 16 matches.
Moses Modiwho started in place of Thompson on Tuesday, left the game in the second quarter with a bruise in his left eye, which Kerr said was “swollen”.
This resulted in a starting and streamlined lineup, preventing warriors from building any true alchemy. It also left them without two of their highest IQ players.
“We had a lot of confusion,” Curry said. “That’s not an excuse for the way we play, but we are built as a whole team. Until we get that, I’m not sure if we’ll see our full cap, but we have to do the little things in the meantime to keep building confidence.”
Thompson, who has missed the previous two games due to a general illness, is expected to join the squad in Dallas and could be active against the Mavericks on Thursday.
Green will also join the squad, although there is no timeline for his return from his back injury. Iguodala is already with the squad but is not expected to play.
The Warriors try to take a big picture approach as they try to make their way out of the funk. They are trying to see the silver lining of the presence of their young players, like Jonathan Kuminga And Moody, get more playtime. They confirm the job kevon looney He did it as the only real big guy available to them. They know it’s a long season.
“I’m just trying to be patient in terms of where we are in the season and what we’re trying to do in a month and a half,” Curry said.
“We just have to make sure when we have a night like tonight where we get a little distracted, we have to work to get back home and remember the goal,” Kerr said.
But the space for error is shrinking rapidly, and the Warriors realize that this is the stretch that is supposed to prepare them for the qualifying round. So, adjustments need to be made now, and they can’t wait to address all of their problems until they have a full list.