Thanks to 34 percent shooting and a stagnant offense that seemed mystified by the Boston Celtics’ improbable use of a zone defense, the Golden State Warriors lost their third straight game by a final score of 94-86 on Friday night.
And in an alarming turn of events, it seems the Warriors aren’t finished finding new ways to lose.
After allowing 117.5 points per game during a six-game February slide, the Dubs have seen their overall defensive numbers slip out of the league’s top 10 and into some decidedly mediocre territory. Of course, playing at a bottom-five level for the past few weeks will do that.
Against the Celtics, the Warriors didn’t fail to get stops—they held Boston to 20 percent shooting from long range and forced 17 turnovers—but what they couldn’t do was score.
Stephen Curry came back to earth after amassing 92 points over his last two games, posting an ugly 6-of-22 night from the field and an equally inefficient 3-of-10 from long range. Not to be outdone, the recently excellent Jarrett Jack tossed in his own 1-of-9 performance to round out an especially inaccurate shooting night for Warrior point guards.
If it’s possible for there to be a bright side to any loss like this, maybe the Warriors’ 54-44 rebound advantage and 11 total turnovers would qualify. But really, at this juncture of the season, the most significant aspect of this game was the fact that Golden State simply hasn’t put together a string of consistent, focused efforts for weeks now.
With the playoffs just a few weeks away, this should be the time when the Warriors are rounding into form, solidifying their strengths and addressing their weaknesses. Instead, they’re losing for different reasons every night. That sort of haphazard play isn’t the kind that bodes well for a postseason run.
The Dubs are near locks to make the dance this spring, but their play of late isn’t inspiring much confidence that they’ll last past the first song.