Banged-up Warriors don’t have an answer for Mavericks, Barea

The Warriors were blown out by the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night 114-91, and it was only their second loss of the season in 31 games. Of course, the Warriors were without MVP Stephen Curry and they were also missing Festus Ezeli, Leandro Barbosa and Harrison Barnes.

This kind of loss happens in the NBA – even to great teams – so there’s no real need to dissect it at this point. That said, when you’re a great team like the Warriors, you don’t have two bad games in a row.

Gotta believe the Warriors are going to be a lot more competitive Thursday against Houston, even if they remain as banged-up as they were against Dallas. Here are some thoughts on the loss:

–Not having Curry, of course, is hugely important. But not having Barbosa also hurt the Warriors, particularly when it came to guarding J.J. Barea, who finished with a game-high 23 points.

Without Curry and Barbosa, it seemed to leave the Warriors without the ability to guard a smaller, quicker type guard. Maybe that guy will be Ian Clark, but it wasn’t on Wednesday night.

For as good as Shaun Livingston is at taking advantage of smaller defenders in the low post, it might not be fair to ask him to match up with a waterbug like Barea. Heck, even Devin Harris hurt the Warriors, which is different. It’s usually the Warriors taking advantage the matchup against him.

–Of all the Warriors’ injuries right now – Curry, Barbosa, Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli – I’d be most worried about Ezeli. Why? Well, it sounds like Curry is mostly precaution and that Barnes is coming back soon. But with Ezeli, it’s a foot. I never like it when it’s big men and feet.

–It sounds like Steve Kerr is getting close to returning, like maybe another week or so, if that. It just seems like it’s going to be the perfect time for Kerr to come back. It’s no longer the early season, and the Warriors seem to need a little jolt. Can’t believe I’m saying that about a 29-2 team, but it feels like that.

They’re banged up and the novelty of their phenomenal start is fading a touch. Luke Walton has exceeded all expectations. But the time seems to be right for a change of pace.

–Am I crazy for thinking that if I were a Warriors fan I wouldn’t want them going after the Bulls’ record 72-win season? Or put it this way, if I were a Warriors fan, I wouldn’t want the Warriors worrying about having to win, say 13 of their last 15 to get to 73 wins to break the record.

It just feels like it would be better – heading into the playoffs – not to have to think about anything other than the postseason, itself. Hey, I might be off-base on this one, but that’s what I’m thinking.

 

 

 

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About Steinmetz

Matt Steinmetz is a veteran San Francisco Bay Area sports journalist. He covered the Golden State Warriors for Bay Area News Group for more than a decade before becoming a television analyst with Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Steinmetz currently co-hosts the "Warriors WrapUp" show and "NBA This Week" on 95.7-FM The Game, the franchise's flagship station, in San Francisco. He also co-hosts the Sal and Steiny podcast.
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