Many fans were concerned after the Golden State Warriors dropped a close contest to the Orlando Magic, 130-129, despite Stephen Curry's 39-point explosion. Their loss at Amway Center was their fourth straight, dropping them to 3-6 to begin the year as they remain winless amidst a rough trip on the road. The Warriors' Friday night clash against the New Orleans Pelicans, an exciting young team led by Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, was supposed to give them an opportunity to stop the bleeding.
However, on the second night of a back-to-back, the Warriors opted to rest their core four of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andrew Wiggins and the rest was (predictable) history. The Warriors ended up losing their second game in as many nights, a closer-than-expected 114-105 defeat, ending the road trip winless in five tries, and dropping them to 0-6 on the road to begin their title defense.
In the process, the Warriors made ignominious history by being the first defending champions to start the season with a six-game duck on the road.
The Warriors are the first defending champions to start 0-6 on the road in NBA history.
(h/t @EliasSports) pic.twitter.com/7Tqwd9tSRF
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) November 5, 2022
The Warriors franchise has earned the benefit of the doubt after their track record over the past decade. Winning four championships does that. A 3-7 start isn't the end of the world, but despite the caliber of talent present on the roster led by Stephen Curry, the Warriors cannot afford to be complacent, especially with teams looking to jam their feet on the defending champs' throats.
The silver lining for the Warriors is that these are the sorts of games where their young core, led by Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody, can gain valuable experience. The Warriors kept things close throughout the game, as the Pelicans' biggest lead in the game was just 11 points, and the Dubs even had a chance to perhaps snatch the game away in the dying embers after Poole drained a triple with four minutes to go to cut the Pelicans' lead to three.
The Warriors ended up crapping the bed in the ensuing minutes as they proceeded to turn the ball over on three straight possessions as the Pelicans expanded their lead to 10 with only two minutes to go.
Warriors fans will be encouraged by Kuminga's performance especially after he was removed from the rotation in previous games. Jonathan Kuminga had 18 on 7-12 shooting, and perhaps Stephen Curry and the Warriors will be better off with him being involved in a much greater capacity.
The Warriors are headed home to Chase Center as they're slated to face the Sacramento Kings on Monday night to try and snap their losing streak.