The Boston Celtics came into Oracle Arena and dismantled the Warriors Tuesday night. Only one team in that arena was “playing with joy” (to used Steve Kerr’s pet phrase) and it wasn’t Golden State.
That happens to the Warriors, a team that often gets bored with the regular season and has nights where they don’t bother to flip the switch. However, after this latest loss, the Warriors seemed a little more on edge.
After the game, Kerr described the loss this way (via Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area)”
“It starts with a passion, an anger, an intensity, and it wasn’t there tonight.”
When Kevin Durant was asked about Kerr’s comments he responded:
“I thought we, um, move off of joy,” Durant said. “Now anger?… “I disagree with that on. We’ve just got to … all around, top to bottom, coaches and players, we’ve just got to be better.”
Durant wasn’t alone, DeMarcus Cousins‘ frustration showed on the court.
Cousins has been frustrated on both ends. Defensively, teams are dragging him out high into pick-and-rolls, he’s not moving well enough to shut off penetration himself and the disinterested defense of the other four guys on the court just makes it worse.
After the game, Cousins was asked how he assessed his defense so far with the Warriors (via Anthony Slater of The Athletic). Cousins shot back and asked the reporter how he would assess it. “Struggling” was the response.
“It’s an adjustment,” Cousins said. “Trying to figure things out with how we play for the coverages. Trying to meet the needs they want with the coverages. … We’re trying to figure that out right now, what’s best. To say I’m struggling, that’s a bit foolish.”
Cousins is struggling, but he’s not wrong that the Warriors are still adjusting and figuring things out with him on the court. They’ve got another month or so to do that, then they need to flip the switch to playoff mode.