Why are the Golden State Warriors Struggling This Season Despite Steph Curry’s Heroics?

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April 6, 2021 11:39 am

The Golden State Warriors currently find themselves in a precarious position. Before the start of the season, Steph Curry & Co. were seen as a lock for the playoffs. But as the season has progressed, the prospect of the Dubs making it to the playoffs has become more and more unlikely.

With a record of 23 wins and 27 losses, the Dubs have now slipped all the way down to the 10th seed in the conference and are barely in the play-in tournament as of now. But why are the Dubs struggling so badly this season?

Lack of a second go-to scoring options

The moment the Warriors found out that Klay Thompson was out for the season, they knew they had to add another scorer to their roster. Kelly Oubre Jr. seemed to be the perfect answer available.

Jan 8, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) on the bench with assistant coach Bruce Fraser during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Since Kelly had been averaging about 18 points per game last season, the Dubs had hoped that the 25-year-old could replicate the same form for them this season. After a slow start to the season, Oubre has pulled through and is currently averaging 15.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists. But these are nowhere near the numbers that would make him the second option in a playoff team.

This has meant Steph has taken over the reins as the primary scorer. The 2-time MVP has surely held up his end of the bargain. In the 42 games he has played, he has averaged 29.4 points, 6.0 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game. But the others clearly haven’t stepped up and the Dubs have become overreliant on the 33-year-old’s production.

This is evident in the games which Curry has missed so far. In the eight games Steph has missed, the Warriors have been outscored by a staggering 133 points. Their record of 7 losses and a single win speaks for itself too.

With limited options in the offense, teams have resorted to limiting Curry’s output in multiple games. The Dubs can use some of the younger players like Oubre and Wiggins in the long run, though. Oubre can be a good scorer off the bench and can be a solid player to lead the second unit.

For now, coach Steve Kerr will hope that players around Steph can become more vicious scorers and take some load off of him.

Lack of depth in the Warriors’ frontcourt

Another key area where the Dubs are struggling right now is the frontcourt. While Draymond Green has continued to be the anchor in the defense, he doesn’t have a go-to center yet in the team.

Rookie James Wiseman is showcasing a lot of potential, but the Dubs need a veteran center who can start and doesn’t commit as many fouls as Wiseman.

Feb 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kent Bazemore (26) and forward Juan Toscano-Anderson (95) and guard Stephen Curry (30) and forward Draymond Green (23) during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With the significant lack of quality in the center position, the Warriors’ defensive struggles are imminent. The Dubs can address this issue in the buyout market by signing a veteran like Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside is a superior rebounder of the ball and can be decent defensively.

The Warriors have two options right now. They can either sign some good veterans available in the buyout market to address their problem area and make a solid push for the playoffs. Or they could tank it all and hope to land another lottery pick in the loaded 2021 draft class. This will also provide players like Nico Mannion and James Wiseman with a chance at extended minutes. What do you think the Warriors will do?

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Aditya Mohapatra

Aditya Mohapatra is a sports enthusiast who primarily covers the NBA for EssentiallySports. Having graduated in Mass Communication, he has prior experience in writing for ABP News, and has been writing for EssentiallySports since November 2020. This die-hard Los Angeles Lakers fan feels that LeBron James is the best thing to have ever happened to the NBA, and will hold a healthy debate with anyone suggesting otherwise.

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