If 141 points seem unfamiliar on the visitor scoreline for those who have followed the Golden State Warriors’ dynastic run the past five seasons, it’s because it is. No team had scored that many points against the Warriors since head coach Steve Kerr got there, and Draymond Green didn’t care to sugarcoat it.
“I’m not a moral victory kind of guy. We f***ing sucked,” said Green after a 141-122 loss to the Clippers.
And with good reason.
The Warriors allowed the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers to score 30 or more points in each quarter, including a whopping 46 points in the third, which blew the game open, signaling a quick exit for the starters in the fourth quarter.
The Clippers shot a blistering 62.5%, but it wasn’t solely a hot shooting night from their league-leading bench, but also the result of several wide-open looks from their role players, which they canned with beautiful efficiency, splashing down 18 of their 32 long-range attempts.
Golden State offered little resistance around the basket, where Los Angeles feasted to 58 points in the paint. The story didn’t change when it came to the mid-range game, as Kawhi Leonard and Lou Williams cashed in consistently without issues.
“This is not a one-off—this is the reality,” said coach Kerr after the game. “There’s going to be nights like this this year. You’ve got to play through it, you’ve got to keep fighting and keep getting better. That’s the plan. …
“It doesn’t feel very good. Losing stinks. It’s no fun. This is more the reality of the NBA. … The last five years we’ve been living in a world that isn’t supposed to exist. Five years of, if I remember, the best record anybody’s ever had over five years. So this is reality, nine guys 23 or younger, and we’re starting over in many respects.”
The youth in this team will force Kerr to actually coach for the first time since getting the job in 2014, now bound to do much more than manufacture plays and keep egos in check. The teaching started the first day of training camp and will continue throughout the regular season, as there’s growth that needs to happen before they become a respectable defensive team, before they can even flirt with the idea of being a playoff contender.
The Warriors will have to outscore their opponents with high-octane firepower to win during this season, as it’s become plenty clear that their defense won’t be doing them any favors.