After being blown out in both of their first two games of the season, Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry wants his young team to keep its perspective as the group tries to find its way together.
“This year’s different,” Curry said after his team’s 138-99 road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, when asked what his message would be to younger teammates. “And to not feel any pressure around Warrior teams in the past. We obviously had that championship DNA, and we understand there’s expectations around our organization and that’s what we want. But this year’s different. It’s a new group of guys. We would love to have Klay [Thompson] better these last two games, but that’s not going to define our season at all. And go win these next two and you’re 2-2 on a road trip. That’s what you got to focus on now. Stay with it, stay composed. Hold yourself accountable to the mistakes we’re making as a group and just keep trying to get better. I think at the end of the day, we just have to make sure our effort and our competitiveness is there, and that will help us get through these early growing pains.”
The Warriors’ growing pains are apparent after losses to the Brooklyn Nets and Bucks. They look unsure together on the floor, and there have been issues in most facets of the game. When asked specifically about the offensive struggles, Curry said he wasn’t sure exactly on which area to focus.
“I don’t know,” Curry said. “We just have to focus a little bit more on what we’re actually trying to do. I think sometimes when things don’t go your way and you miss shots, there’s a tendency to force and press and just not think. So our group’s collective IQ has to get a lot better in those moments where you’re not making shots and trying to get some easy buckets — working together to create good looks. And that will come with time. We just have to understand and identify when those moments are when you can kind of let go of the rope a little bit.”
The glaring issue early for Curry and the Warriors is that without Thompson, who is out for the second consecutive season (this time because of an Achilles injury), new wings Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. have struggled to hit shots. The pair is a combined 14-for-58 from the field and 2-for-21 from the 3-point line to start the season.
“It’s always difficult to go to a new team,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s just the way it is in this league. New terminology, new style of play, new teammates. It’s only been two games. We’ve played two of the best teams in the league. We didn’t find any rhythm at all to the game. It will shake out over time. Kelly’s going to be fine. Andrew will be fine. Those guys are proven players in this league. I’ve got to do a better job of putting them in positions to get comfortable, too.”
Curry remains outwardly optimistic that the Warriors will be able to turn things around quickly, especially with the expected arrival of Draymond Green back into the lineup Sunday against the Chicago Bulls after the veteran forward missed the past two games because of a foot injury. But Curry knows the adjustment to new expectations is difficult for everybody on the roster, including the veterans who are used to having early success.
“We said it going in [to the season],” Curry said. “We’ve experienced everything as a team and this core. Didn’t expect it to go this rough early, but we knew it was going to be a long process, a long journey. And this team could look entirely different after two weeks, after a month, and you just got to kind of hold the ship down, and you keep yourself in the conversation so we’re still there.”
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