Golden State Warriors: The Champions Slowing Down & Competition Speeding Up?

Isaiah Spencer | Staff Writer

This current era of the Golden State Warriors has been one of the most, if not, the most dominant NBA basketball team in history. With a record-setting 73-9 record in 2015, and a 9-time All Star being a new addition to the team following year, the Golden State Warriors are the most feared team in basketball today.

The Warriors have faced some struggles within the past couple of weeks with games they’ve should have won. On Jan. 3, a 30-point loss to the Utah Jazz was the worst defeat they received all season. The Warriors shot 33 percent on 20-of-60 from the field. This was their second-worst game of the season, statistically. Only a loss from the Denver Nuggets on Dec. 23rd was worse.

“We just didn’t start out the game with any force defensively…We played with no sense of urgency, no sense of purpose and they’re obviously fighting for the playoffs,” Warriors coach Steve told NBA reporters.

In the past 10 games, the Warriors were 6-4, which is rare for them, considering they usually have one or two losses within a 10-game span.

The Utah Jazz were their first loss within that span, and the Denver Nuggets their second. It was another highly favored game to win for the Warriors, which resulted in a 7-point loss on Feb. 3.

“The whole fourth quarter was rough,” said Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who had 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting. “50/50 balls go (the) other way. It was tough to get in any kind of rhythm or flow.”

Many expected the Warriors to step their game up when they played the elite Oklahoma City Thunder, but this was no different. With the Thunder having the reigning MVP and two new elite players this season, they are always expected to put up a fight no matter who they play.

Russell Westbrook and Paul George combined for 72 points. The Warriors entered that game having gone 11-0 in games following a loss.

Golden State’s most recent game came against the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 14. Despite Kevin Durant’s 50-point performance, Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers were able to snap the Warriors’ seven-game win streak over Portland.

“It might be our best win [of the season] as far as the quality of the opponent,” Lillard said.

It’s clear that the Warriors are not in their normal state of winning. The reigning Western Conference champs have a huge target on their back going into All-Star weekend.

The Golden State Warriors must determine if their game plan is slowing down or if the new competition is finally learning how to adjust to their style of play.

With the All-Star break, the Warriors had a week and a half to analyze their next moves and improve on their final 24 games.

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