When you’re the defending champions – let alone a team like the Golden State Warriors that has won 84.1% of its games in the past three regular seasons – there’s always a silver lining in late October. And so it goes for this ‘Super Villains’ squad, even if a Sunday night loss to the Detroit Pistons at Oracle Arena dropped them to 4-3 while also marking a second home loss (that’s no small deal, by the way, considering they had just two regular season home losses in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons and five in 2016-17). But even with all these fascinating foibles, from the turnover problem (third-most in the NBA at 18.4 per game) to the awful defense (26th in defensive rating) and beyond, here are a few reasons why the Warriors and their fans need not panic. THE CAVS ARE WORSE When the same two teams have faced off three consecutive times in the Finals, it’s fair to judge everything through that prism. As such, it simply has to make coach Steve Kerr & Co. feel a little better that Cleveland not only has a worse record so far (3-4), but the inferior defense (27th at 109.8 points allowed per 100 possessions; the Warriors are allowing 108.4). THEY’RE FLIPPING THE SCRIPT The last time the Warriors were defending a title, they won 29 of their first 30 games en route to a historic 73-win campaign that, in the end, was all for nothing. Those Cavs made the unprecedented recovery from a 3-1 Finals deficit to win it all, and no one much cared anymore that Golden State had run roughshod over its foes during the regular season. For those wondering, however, the Warriors’ third loss in that season came in the 39th game. THE CARE FACTOR This is a fiery group, but the combination of the shortened preseason and the Warriors’ China trip that complicated it has left the Warriors looking listless. Assistant coaches routinely cite the early lack of rhythm that, as they see it, is the byproduct of the reduced practice time and those bouts with jet lag. Conditioning has been a problem too, not to mention the age-old reality that lack of early motivation is often a factor for reigning champs. Still, history paints a passionate picture when it comes to these Warriors. And while late comebacks against Toronto and Washington in their prior two games were fueled by that quality, they should finally realize now that it’s not something you can put off until the last few minutes.
Why Golden State Warriors fans shouldn't panic after slow start
USA Today | Oct 30