Maybe it was the All-Star break. Maybe it was their scouting report. Whatever it was, it was hard to watch.
The Golden State Warriors got taken out to the wood shed last night by the Atlanta Hawks 95-79 making it a second straight loss to a playoff caliber Eastern Conference squad, both of which were played at home. Depsite winning 7 of their last 10 games coming into last night, this game sends up some serious warning signs about the Warriors development. Wither they are not ready to compete at a high level night after night with the talent they have on the squad, or the talent they have on the squad is not playing to the highest level they possibly can.
The San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami had this to say about the team in his ’Talking Points:"
If you wanted to design a game that showed why the Warriors are much further away from contention or relevance than they think they are, this would be it…Coach Keith Smart blamed on a lack of energy–energy to get to the Hawks’ shooters, energy to make the right passes against Atlanta’s over-playing defense, energy to run back on defense… A meaner and more accurate way to say it: Once the Warriors ran into trouble, they pretty much went belly up…at home. While rested. Against a Hawks team that had lost three in a row.
When it comes to things like playing solid defense (in the half court and in transition) and rebounding (offensively and defensively), two things that the Warriors only do when they feel like it, it starts with a commitment to it before the game even starts. Coach Keith Smart needs to figure out a new way to get the most out of his players and have them buy into his system because whatever he is doing now simply isn’t working. They aren’t buying into whatever he’s selling, and I don’t know if that’s the coaches’ fault or the players. Either way some soul-searching might have to happen on the road trip if the W’s want to start playing like winners.