The lineup change that Steve Kerr began publicly mulling on Wednesday night and continued discussing the following day didn't end up taking place against the Oklahoma City Thunder. His team's latest loss wasn't the sole product of a struggling, stale starting five anyway. Considering the disastrously familiar tenor of their 138-136 overtime loss to the Thunder on Friday, don't be surprised if the Golden State Warriors look much different the next time they take the floor regardless.

Potential lineup and rotation adjustments aside, the Dubs better hope they don't duplicate the deciding aspects of their latest close-fought defeat on Tuesday against the Phoenix Suns. Why? As they learned the hard way in Oklahoma City, it's virtually impossible to win on the road when repeatedly barfing up turnovers and sending the opposition to the free throw line.

Sounds familiar, right? Those are the same issues that have been dogging Golden State since early last season. A back-half roster overhaul hasn't fixed fixed them, and neither has a string of narrow losses amid the team's tumultuous, disappointing start to 2023-24.

“It feels like the Sacramento game, it feels like the Clipper game, it feels like the last OKC game,” an irked Kerr said on the postgame podium. “It’s up to us. It’s a pattern right now.”

The Warriors finished with a staggering 29 turnovers against the Thunder. That's not just the most any team has committed in a game this season, but more than the Dubs have managed any time they've taken the floor during the Kerr era.

An easy majority of those giveaways were unforced or close to it, the result of carelessness, miscommunication and flat-out bad decision-making rather than disruptive defense from Oklahoma City, which forces more turnovers than all but one team in basketball. The same mistakes of commission definitely don't apply to Golden State's inability to keep Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and company off the free throw line.

The Thunder attempted 36 freebies on Friday, their second-highest total of the season. The Warriors simply had no answer to keeping Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams and even Luguentz Dort from creasing the paint off the bounce, another damning indictment of their poor point-of-attack defense since 2023-24 tipped off.

Golden State was whistled for 28 fouls overall, with Gilgeous-Alexander, Dort and Chet Holmgren combining to draw 21 of them. Both Draymond Green and Jonathan Kuminga fouled out, while Klay Thompson and Moses Moody picked up four fouls apiece.

“Turnovers and fouls. I can just repeat it every game if you want,” Kerr said. “It's turnovers and fouls, that's what it comes down to.”

Warriors ‘good enough' to win the title? 

Steke Kerr, Footprint Center, disco balls in background

Making Friday's game all the more dispiriting is that Golden State played well enough to beat Oklahoma City. The Dubs outscored the Thunder by 42 points from beyond the arc, absolutely dominated the offensive glass and had seven players score in double-figures, with Stephen Curry, Jonathan Kuminga and Klay Thompson each dropping 22 points or more.

Gilgeous-Alexander and Williams were brilliant for the Thunder, the former exploding in the second half to finish with 38 points and the latter needing just 15 shots en route to 28 points. Most of their buckets came from mid-range, though, and many of them were heavily contested. Great offense will always beat good defense, but at least Wiggins, Kuminga and even Curry after switches made OKC's star ball-handlers work for their points.

Then there's the notion that the Warriors really should've escaped PayCom Center with a win despite their worst tendencies reaching respective nadirs. If Green, his team up three with under 10 seconds left, hadn't fouled Chet Holmgren as the rookie caught a sideline out-of-bounds pass and immediately went into his shooting motion from deep, Golden State would've been on track for one of its best wins of the season.

Kerr, at least, is clinging to those silver linings amid his palpable exasperation.

“The fact is we're playing one of the best teams in the league on their floor. We're good enough. We're good enough to win a championship—I believe that,” he said. “This team. But if we're gonna just turn it over and throw the ball to the other and foul over and over, we're gonna lose. We know the formula. We just controlled that whole game on the road against a great team.”

Let's hope the Warriors themselves feel that same sense of qualified optimism. Their chances of winning the title in 2023-24 are already doomed if they don't.

The more a team tells you who they are, though, the harder it is to believe they're something different. Are these Dubs even capable of curbing their turnover and foul woes? It's telling that sticking with the lineup status quo, Thompson playing arguably his best game of the season and Wiggins making a positive impact on both ends before crumbling late resulted in a performance almost equally as encouraging as it was frustrating.

Could major changes to the lineup yield all the good and less of the bad that unfolded on Friday night? That's the glass half-full expectation, at least. But straying further from its ingrained personnel identity, unfortunately, assures no guarantees of hitting the championship peak Golden State reached in 2022.

“I watched this same group win a championship a year and-a-half ago. They’re champions,” a defiant Kerr said. “But they’re not playing like it and I’m not coaching like it. We’ve gotta figure this out.”

How the Warriors will go about doing that, clearly, is still anyone's guess.