Klay Thompson’s last-chance shot, one-handed off balance from the baseline, as the final seconds of the game against Orlando ticked away, missed the target, and plunged the defending champions into a crisis that had already been brewing for some time.
The Golden State Warriors were unable to overcome, Thursday night, a stagnant team in the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Orlando (2-7 now), defeated in Orlando (129-130). Alarming observation as the “Splash Brothers” delivered their best score of the current campaign, at least on the offensive level. Last Finals MVP Stephen Curry cracked 39 points on a superb 13-of-22 shooting success rate (8/15 from 3-point range), to which he added 9 assists, while Thompson recorded 27 units (10/24, 7/15 to 3 points).
“We have to save ourselves” Steve Kerr, Warriors coach
But this imbalance between the success of its two points and the rest of the team says about all the ills of a team still in full search of itself after nine games (3-6, out of a series of four defeats in a row), unable to win away from home (0-5), lacking resources on his bench after the departures of Gary Payton Jr, Otto Porter Jr and Nemanja Bjelica in particular (only 22 points for the substitutes including 11 for the 6th man Jordan Poole), and above all totally apathetic in defense.
The Golden State Warriors have conceded at least 115 points in their last four games, enough to rank 27th in defense in the NBA after nine games. Their anemic debut makes them only the second NBA champion in all history to start with 5 away losses (the Philadelphia Warriors in 1956-1957).
Like this last outing in Florida, catastrophic on this point, where the champions conceded three quarters to more than thirty points for their hosts, including a third period in All-Star Game mode at 43 points offered to the Magic young wolves Jalen Suggs (21 years old, 26 points including 15 in money-time, plus 9 assists and 4 interceptions), Italian rookie number 1 in the draft Paolo Banchero (19 years old, 22 points) and Franz Wagner (21 years, 19 points).
A guilty passivity which allowed Orlando, yet a moment behind (57-73, 27th), to come back on the heels of the Warriors, going for 46 free throws (33 converted) against only 15 for Golden State. Suggs, 4th in the 2021 draft, then sounded the revolt, scored the decisive 3-point basket and intercepted a pass from Stephen Curry to seal the success of his team.
“We have to save ourselves, because no one will do it for us”launched at the exit Steve Kerr, the coach of the champions, announcing changes to come in the rotations of his team. “We had nine matches to get an idea of the different combinations. It’s time to try something different. » Golden State will be traveling to New Orleans on the night of Saturday to Sunday.