It is easy to panic when the last three years of Golden State Warriors‘ basketball have been… well, less than ideal.
However, even with their latest slump, the Dubs are closer to being a bonafide title contender than it seems.
The Golden State Warriors are not as far off from pulling themselves back together as you might think. It will only require a bit of luck.
The Warriors began the season as arguably the best team in the league. Fast forward to March and they feel like a middle-of-the-pack team, at best. How did we get here?
Klay Thompson’s return was supposed to bring a tidal wave of momentum. Instead, the simultaneous loss of Draymond Green and eventual loss of Stephen Curry drowned out any stinge of enthusiasm the Dubs were building.
All along the way, key players have fallen into shooting ruts with Andrew Wiggins falling to below 40% from the field since making his first All-Star Game. Damion Lee has disappeared and Thompson has struggled to consistently play like his former self.
The only bright spots, outside of the brief moment we saw the big three back together, have been Jordan Poole and the rookies. Poole is on fire, averaging 24.5 points in March while both Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody have reassured the franchise that they were quality additions in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Getting back on track
Unfortunately, there is not much time to get this ship back in order. The playoffs are roughly two weeks away and Curry’s return is still hazy.
The Dubs shouldn’t just stare at their feet for the final 10 games. They can still take some important steps towards getting back on track before reintegrating Curry for one last concentrated push through the playoffs.
First step? Getting Wiggins back into a rhythm. There is no doubt that Curry’s absence has placed a heavier emphasis on his need to be aggressive. Which, if we have learned anything about Wiggins since joining the Warriors, he is better in a tertiary role.
This means it will be difficult for Wiggins to get comfortable — but continuing to run the offense through Poole and Thompson could help him feel more at home. What’s more, there is no reason for Steve Kerr to shy away from the rookies at this point as they can both bring a spark of youthful joy to keep the team from feeling gloom.
Everything else is already happening. Green is back in the lineup and Thompson played 40 minutes for the first time in three years the other night. These are small but pivotal steps for a team that only needs a stretch of good luck to be back in the title race.