Warriors Struggle with Grit, Coach Steve Kerr Says Team 'Not Ready Yet'

Warriors Face Challenges Amidst Season's Tumultuous Progress.

by Nouman Rasool
Warriors Struggle with Grit, Coach Steve Kerr Says Team 'Not Ready Yet'
© Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

As the Golden State Warriors embarked on a crucial seven-game home stand, expectations were high. This stretch was seen as a golden opportunity for the team to establish a strong rhythm and assert themselves as a formidable force in the NBA.

However, the reality has been starkly different. Two games into the home stand, the Warriors have found themselves struggling, with back-to-back losses, including a 132-122 defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.

This downturn in performance comes as a surprise, particularly after a previous loss to a Miami Heat team missing key players Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, and Caleb Martin. Despite the team's high morale and chemistry off the court, a stark improvement from last season's reported locker room issues, translating this positivity into on-court success has proved challenging.

The Warriors currently sit with a 15-17 record, placing them 11th in the Western Conference.

Kerr: Grit Deficiency Issue

Coach Steve Kerr expressed his concerns, highlighting the lack of 'grit' essential for any successful team.

"We haven't found that grit where you pull together and just play for the group," Kerr stated. "We are not there yet, and that's a problem." Despite having a team of 'great guys', Kerr emphasizes the need for a connection dedicated solely to winning.

Golden State has made significant changes to its lineups and rotations to reverse their fortunes. The latest change saw Kevon Looney and Brandin Podziemski replaced by Trayce Jackson-Davis and Chris Paul in the starting lineup against the Mavericks, a decision to bolster the team's defense.

This area has been a weakness in the past three games, with the previous starting lineup recording the second-worst rating in the league for a five-man lineup with significant playtime together. The absence of Draymond Green, suspended indefinitely, is a notable factor in the team's struggles.

However, the issues run deeper, encompassing dedication and ability. The recent lineup changes, while intended to provide an offensive spark, have yet to yield the desired results. Golden State's defensive frailties were highlighted against the Mavericks, allowing them to shoot 56% from the floor.

Luka Doncic’s outstanding performance, scoring 39 points, added to the Warriors' woes. "We tried to mix it up on him," Kerr acknowledged but admitted that the team's communication broke down. The lineup change also aimed to facilitate Stephen Curry by pairing him with Chris Paul, particularly in Green's absence.

Curry ended the game with 25 points, and Paul contributed 24 points and six assists. However, these individual efforts were not enough to secure a win. With 32 games into the season, the Warriors are yet to find a consistent and effective lineup.

Paul summed up the situation: "It's tough... It's all about winning. Whatever we've got to do to figure out how to win, that's what I've been about my entire career. I know these guys are the same... We've got to figure out how to put it together for 48 minutes." As the Warriors continue their home stand, the pressure mounts to find the winning formula that has eluded them thus far. The clock is ticking for Golden State to turn their season around and live up to their potential as a strong NBA team.