‘We Were Backing Off’: Warriors’ Steve Kerr Unimpressed with Opening Night Display Against Nets

Published 12/22/2020, 11:15 PM EST
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talks to the media as the Golden State Warriors prepare to take on the Houston Rockets in game 6 of the NBA Western Conference finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Ca., on Sat. May 26, 2018. (Photo by Michael Macor/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)


The Golden State Warriors started their 2020-21 campaign right from where they left off. They were blown out by the Brooklyn Nets in a 99-125 loss on opening night.

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It was a new-look lineup for the Warriors, who had two debutants in Kelly Oubre Jr and James Wiseman. They also had Stephen Curry, who was making his first appearance since October 2019. But this return didn’t go as he would have wanted. The Warriors were all over the place, and the Nets dominated from the tip-off.

Unsurprisingly, coach Steve Kerr was not impressed. “I didn’t like our level of competition,” he said. “It just felt like we were out there. Ron Adams said at halftime that they had 23 points on 1-on-1 plays. Felt like we were backing off.”

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The Nets took advantage of the Warriors’ lax defense and piled on the points. If they hadn’t slowed down in the fourth quarter, it would have been uglier for the Warriors.

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

New-team jitters for the Warriors

With multiple new faces on the team, it is understandable that the Warriors needed time to build chemistry. The injury to Klay Thompson during the off-season also hurt them. Finally, Draymond Green’s injury just rubbed salt into their wounds. So they came into this game with a team that lacked chemistry and depth too.

This chemistry led to a lot of sloppy plays, forced shots, and unnecessary turnovers. The Warriors’ strength over the years has been their ability to play excellent pick and roll, and off-ball movement. But tonight they failed on both fronts. Curry had to create shots for himself and forced a few too because of this.

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Wiseman is just getting used to playing on the team. But once he settles in, he can form a solid pick and roll duo with Curry. He displayed his ability to take jump shots tonight, proving he can be dangerous from anywhere on the court. As the season goes, he will only get better.

Dec 22, 2020; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman (33) drives to the basket against Brooklyn Nets power forward Jeff Green (8) and Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the second quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Kerr will be hoping that the team can build chemistry soon and also avoid injuries since they already have a thin roster. They were predicted to make the playoffs, but if they continue to play like this, that prediction might be in danger.

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Aaron Mathew

1551 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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