Among the signs of the apocalypse, Steph Curry scoring 60 points in a Golden State Warriors loss is right up there. That the 141-134 defeat came against the Atlanta Hawks is even more frightening. The Hawks are five games under .500, and appear to be well on their way to resetting the roster around Trae Young, if not full-on rebuilding it. Half to 75 percent of the team is on the trade block, and if you’re wondering which franchise I’m talking about, it’s a fair question.
The Warriors are four games below the Mendoza line, only Curry shouldn’t be on the market, and the team is battling for the last play-in spot. A year ago, NBA fans wondered if the Golden State dynasty was over as they spent much of the season trying to figure things out, and a lot of observers wrote off the 2022-23 campaign as a year from hell.
Obviously, when Draymond Green punches a teammate in the face, that’s going to draw all the attention. However, the most alarming thing is we haven’t seen the Warriors look really in sync since their title run three seasons ago. Yes, Chef Curry can still get hot unlike any player on the planet, yet Golden State has lost the past three games in which he’s eclipsed 50 points. Before 2022, the Warriors were 8-2 when Steph topped that mark.
I hate the phrases “in a vacuum” and Bill Parcells’ mantra, “You are what your record says you are,’’ because both are cliches, and we never, ever talk about athletes in a vacuum, or take records at face value. Those also happen to be the main reasons we’re not talking about this year’s Warriors like we talk about this year’s Hawks.
Klay Thompson should be as expendable as Dejounte Murray, if not more so, considering the latter’s numbers are better, and Murray can still play defense. Of course Dub nation would riot if that trade happened, mostly because Golden State would have to sweeten the deal to entice Atlanta to take it.
Yes, I know it’s sacreligious to talk like that. Thompson’s title parade performances alone make him off limits to Warriors’ fans, which is why the downfall of great teams is so fascinating. Only a sociopath like Bill Belichick can compartmentalize cutting or trading once integral pieces of championship teams.
Sentiment is a powerful drug. So whenever Curry erupts for 60, fans and media members talk themselves out of crazy proclamations because they don’t want to spout the same false take as before, and question the greatest shooter who ever lived. If Steph can go for 60, that’s enough evidence to give Golden State the benefit of the doubt.
What if the 60-burger came in a loss to a team that’s unquestionably headed south? Green, Thompson and Andrew Wiggins were a combined 8 of 34 from the field. Klay has only scored more than 30 twice in a season in which Cam Thomas can get that half asleep. Hell, Scoot Henderson has as many 30-point outings.
Rarely do we get to witness a group of guys go through the entire lifecycle of a professional athlete together. It takes a crazy amount of success and chemistry to even be allowed to try, and this Golden State Warriors’ season — not from hell, maybe from reality — is why we usually never reach that point.
Original source here