No Joy: 3 Observations from the Warriors' Game 18 Loss to the Thunder (13-5)

Missed a couple more games due to travel and illness, but caught last night's dodgy exhibition:

1) No Joy
Joy is one of Steve Kerr’s four core principles when it comes to the Golden State Warriors along with compassion, competition and mindfulness. Last night’s game seemed to be lacking joy. As a fan, obviously, seeing them get worked by OKC was joyless. They didn’t mount much of a comeback, which stole any drama or excitement from the game. I know it takes a lot to get up for games, but if you can’t get up for the challenge of Russell Westbrook and the Thunder, then something has to be wrong, right?

 Turnovers, off shooting from pretty much everyone, bad lazy fouls, etc. make it seem like they’re just doing the very basics. There’s no excitement being generated by their play. Am I spoiled and just waiting for the playoffs? Are they spoiled and just waiting for the playoffs?

2) Where’s McCaw?
A few weeks ago Steve Kerr said that Patrick McCaw had moved ahead of Nick Young as the backup shooting guard, however, that seems not to be the case any longer. The thing about when Young gets in the game is you know what you’re going to get from him: a guy who’ll shoot and either make a bunch or miss a bunch of shots. You’ll also get iffy defense and still-out-of-shape hustle.

McCaw brings you so much more especially since he’s still a young, improving unknown variable. He’s thrown down a few surprising dunks in recent weeks, which he hadn’t done since last season. He has solid defensive instincts and desire. Hopefully his confidence isn’t shot, but he needs to earn those minutes ahead of Young and keep them.


3) Missing Ian Clark and James Michael-McAdoo
I’ve discussed how good the Warriors lineup is from top to bottom, but one thing they’re missing are the bench guys who celebrate every crazy three and insane run. Clark, McAdoo (who was also an amazing locker room guy), Speights, Bazemore. Those are guys who came to the game to pretty much celebrate.

 

The bench still enjoys itself, but again, the joy seems lower-energy. Young and Casspi are vets who don’t get too excited, McCaw is much more low-key, Bell has moments, but doesn’t spaz out the way past players used to.

 

I miss that. And I think for now the team does too.


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