The Golden State Warriors are reeling, and Stephen Curry is firing his frustrations from long range.
The usually even-tempered All-Star guard was blunt in his assessment and called for adjustments to be made after Sunday’s 117-111 loss in Atlanta, the Warriors’ seventh loss in eight games.
“You cannot play the way that we’ve played the last significant stretch and expect things to change,” Curry told reporters. “So it kind of is what it is. We’ve got to make the necessary adjustments.
“It sucks right now. Losing sucks. It’s a terrible feeling in the locker room. We don’t really have much to smile about, and it’s kind of the vibe right now.”
The two-time NBA MVP scored 37 points against the Hawks, but the Warriors’ bench was outscored 55-19 by Atlanta’s reserves.
Steve Kerr’s team, which has been without All-Star Klay Thompson (torn Achilles) all season after he missed last year with a torn ACL, has slipped to 10th in the Western Conference at 23-27, a half-game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans for the final play-in position in the playoff race.
“It’s tough. Keep it real, we all had higher expectations for where we were supposed to be this season,” Curry said. “Guys want to outperform; when they go out there, they want to exceed the expectations for themselves, for the coaching staff, whatever it is. And when it doesn’t happen, it’s frustrating.
“I hope it stings. I hope it’s uncomfortable. I hope it motivates you to keep grinding, challenging yourself to get better. I hope nobody is content just being in this middle-of-the-road situation. We’re going to find out how we respond down the stretch of the season, see what we’re made of.”
Curry, who sat out Friday’s embarrassing 53-point loss to the Raptors due to a tailbone injury, added that the Warriors continue to make the same mistakes, such as the 26 fouls they committed Sunday night. They are averaging the third-most fouls in the league at 21.7 per game, ahead of only Toronto and Washington.
“I don’t know, man. It’s like the 20th time we get asked that question, and we haven’t figured it out,” Curry said. “So it’s on all of us to hold each other accountable to the details of being in the right.”
Kerr agreed with Curry’s take on the fouling, but added: “If I knew, I would give you the answer. We talk about it every day. We talked about it before the game, we talked about it at halftime, but it’s as simple as that. We lost because we fouled over and over and over again.”
After reaching the NBA Finals five consecutive years, winning three championships, the Warriors missed the playoffs last year in the first season after Kevin Durant signed with the Nets as a free agent. Curry only appeared in five games due to a broken wrist, but he’s returned at an MVP level this year with 29.4 points and 6.0 assists per game.
“The hard part is trying to answer some of the questions around how we can get better and how we win games,” Curry said. “The situation is what it is. We have a lot to improve on, and there’s a challenge there that we all need to take head on.
“It’s uncomfortable right now, it’s frustrating for everybody, but it will test us to find a way to make these last 20 games matter and give us something to show for it towards the end of the season…I hope everybody in the locker room hates losing as a motivation just to stick with it, to stay connected and to figure it out.”