Now – after the Timberwolves dropped the Warriors to 69-9, forcing Golden State to win out to top the 72-10 Bulls – Green is singing a different tune.
Green, via Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:
“Right now, we’re just at a point where, it’s human nature, where it’s like, we’re kind of ready for the regular season to end,” Draymond Green summarized. “You’re talking 82 games. You get bored with that after a while. That’s no excuse. I’m going to always give it to y’all real, and that’s about as real as I can be. It’s at a point now where we’re ready for the regular season to be over.
This is what makes Chicago’s record so incredible. It’s mentally exhausting to compete every game over an 82-game season.
Teams often give less than full effort – on the back end of a road trip, after a long night out, when they fall behind early. At this point in the season, several teams are sitting their top players, either to tank or rest in advance of the playoffs.
Golden State can’t afford to do that and win 73.
The Warriors didn’t look bored to me during their loss to Minnesota. They look taxed by a long season of meaningful games.
Players spoke openly about their desire to win 73, and that means taking every game seriously. Though the late regular season can often bore dominant teams, there’s nothing boring about games highly important to achieving the stated goal. The Warriors, at their own discretion, created a circumstance where an April game against the lowly Timberwolves was a big deal. Then, they blew it.
So, I don’t buy that they were bored. To me, this just sounds like Green coping with the fact that Golden State is now unlikely to win 73 games.
The Warriors could still get there by winning out, and I wouldn’t rule it out. This team is talented enough to win four straight while coasting. They could even buckle down.
But it doesn’t sound like Golden State has the mental commitment to see this out.