Are the New-Look Golden State Warriors Suffering from New Team Jitters?

Published 12/22/2020, 9:34 PM EST
Dec 22, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) controls the ball against Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


The new-look Golden State Warriors took the field for the first time tonight. Stephen Curry led the young unit since Draymond Green and Klay Thompson were sidelined with injuries. But their absence was felt strongly by the Warriors. The players looked out of place. It felt like a classic case of new team jitters.

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Right from the tip-off, the Warriors looked lost. They were unable to get the best looks for each other and were sloppy throughout. Instead of getting screens and running pick and roll, Curry himself was setting screens. He was forced to create his own shots and was struggling with that.

The Warriors take pride in their off-ball movement and playing off screens. But tonight, they were not able to execute that game plan. There was a surprising amount of isos and driving to the rim instead of focusing on getting open looks.

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Warriors suffering from lack of leadership

Not only did the Warriors miss the defense and playmaking from Draymond but also his leadership. Curry wasn’t able to step up as a leader in his absence. The Nets had Kevin Durant taking charge as the leader, barking out instructions, and telling players what to do. That was nowhere to be seen for the Warriors.

The players looked defeated by the third quarter itself, when the Nets lead went over 30. This poor chemistry also led to terrible defense. They were scrambling to chase down open shots, and couldn’t prevent drives to the paint. This eventually led to a blowout loss, as the Nets won 125-99.

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Dec 22, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant (7) drives against Golden State Warriors small forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (12) and power forward Eric Paschall (7) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets also exposed the Warriors’ lack of depth. Aside from their starting five of Curry, Wiggins, Kelly Oubre Jr, Eric Paschall, and James Wiseman, they lack quality. On the other hand, the Nets had the luxury of having Caris LeVert off their bench, who would be the second best player if he was on the Warriors.

As a newly assembled unit, the Warriors were bound to suffer chemistry issues, but the absence of a leader made it tougher. Once Draymond returns from his injury, the team will be able to perform better. They might not start winning immediately, but the team will have a direction, and should be able to play better together.

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Aaron Mathew

1549 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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