The Golden State Warriors haven’t exactly lived up to expectations in 2022-23. The defending champions enter Friday’s matchup with the Atlanta Hawks at 36-34, good for sixth in the Western Conference but just two-and-half games above the 11th-place Utah Jazz in the standings.
With three weeks left in the regular season, it’s safe to say the Warriors will at least make the play-in tournament. Big-picture maneuvering at the trade deadline by in-conference foes without realistic title hopes virtually guaranteed them that. But Golden State has bigger ambitions than merely advancing to the postseason, and its ongoing, widespread struggles to win on the road are just the most obvious of many factors that cast doubt on this team’s ability to repeat as champions.
Steve Kerr, obviously, understands the Warriors’ perilous season-long straits as well as anyone. He’s been lamenting their hideous record away from Chase Center, wildly inconsistent defense and penchant for fleeting intensity and engagement almost since 2022-23 tipped off.
But Golden State’s head coach has also had a front row seat to Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green forcefully staving off Father Time, and is hardly ready to close the book on the Warriors’ dynasty as a result.
“I know that this has been a special era to be part of with the Warriors. The whole thing is, ‘How long can we keep it going?'” Kerr said during a Thursday appearance on 95.7 The Game. “Because you watch last night’s game, Steph sure looks like he’s got plenty left in the tank. You watch the night before and Klay gets 33 in the first half. Draymond’s play all year long has been really good on the defensive end as well as getting us organized on offense. These guys still have plenty in the tank and we want to keep this thing going as long as we can.”
Curry, a frontline MVP candidate before going down with a shoulder injury in mid-December, is coming off one of the most jaw-dropping single-game performances of his career. Thompson is averaging 24.5 points on ridiculous three-point volume above-average efficiency over his last 40 games Green still has a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year case despite the Dubs’ labors on that end and is shooting a career-best 59.5% on twos.
Golden State’s dynastic core hasn’t been the problem this season. It’s everything else—like Andrew Wiggins’ multiple months-long absences, Jordan Poole’s stalled development and the lacking overall talent, versatility and experience of a rebuilt supporting cast—that’s prevented the Warriors from playing like a true title contender throughout this season.
We’ll find out soon enough if those complications doom the Warriors’ hopes of repeating. With Curry, Thompson and Green still leading the way while playing near their established peaks, though, Kerr and the basketball world at large know it’s still too early to count Golden State out for more championships, both this season and going forward.