The Golden State Warriors got off to a solid start to the NBA season. But despite Stephen Curry’s stellar play, they just haven’t been able to keep up with the rest of the Western Conference, losing seven of their last ten and falling to an 8-9 record.

Of course, a lot of that had to do with the fact that Curry missed a couple of games with a knee injury, and Draymond Green served a five-game suspension. However, even in the wins and even at full strength, Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins have failed to play up to their standards.

They’re both going through a big slump, which is why Tim Kawakami of The Athletic asked Klay his thoughts about coach Steve Kerr sticking with his current lineup. Unsurprisingly, the four-time NBA champion didn’t like the question one bit:

“What, do you want him to bench me?” Klay responded. “Or bench Wigs? I mean, you can suggest it, that’s fine. But thank Steve, I guess, I don’t know. Sometimes you earn these things, like patience and time to find yourself. I think history is on our side when it comes to that stuff.”

Thompson Doesn’t Care About The Naysayers

Thompson has always been a fierce competitor and has never hesitated to clap back at his critics. This time isn’t the exception, and he won’t let the haters steal his focus:

I don’t care what people say,” Klay said. “It’s like, they don’t do what we do. They can’t do what we do. That’s why they talk. Why would I? Like, come on. I don’t care what people say at this point in my life, ha! Next question.”

Even so, it’s a fact that he and Wiggins need to do better. Klay is averaging 15.0 points on 40% shooting, almost five fewer points than his career average. Wiggins, on the other hand, is averaging 11.8 points on 25% from beyond the arc and 51% from the free-throw line.

The Warriors still have Chris Paul and Jonathan Kuminga leading the way in the second unit, and they could mix things up to find a stronger scoring punch in the starting five. Even so, they’re not likely to make any major changes right now.

Kerr Has Faith In His Stars

Coach Kerr is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history, but, like all shooters, he also went through some major slumps. That’s why he knows just how important it is for a player to keep getting his touches to get his groove back:

“Having been a player myself, I always wanted my coaches to show confidence in me through a slump,” Kerr said. “So I know how much that means to a player, when a coach stands by you. And then we just won a championship a year and a half ago with Wigs and Klay playing a huge role.”

This current Warriors’ lineup has played together for quite a while and even won a championship together, so Kerr obviously has faith in them. Even so, he didn’t rule out the possibility of making a change at some point:

Obviously, that five-man (starting) unit that we talk about from last year, that started all last year, was the best one in the league,” the coach stated. “That’s a big sample size. I’m really going to believe in that group and believe in those guys who accomplished so much for a long time. As a coach, it’s just a matter of recognizing if you have to make a change of some sort, when is that juncture, when is that critical point in the season where alright, we’ve seen enough, we’ve gotta do something different.”

The Warriors’ pace-and-space offense hasn’t been at its best this season, playing at the 14th-fastest pace in the league (99.0) and being 12th in the league in scoring (114.2 PPG). Also, they average the fourth-most turnovers per game (15.0), which obviously hampers their offense.

Both Thompson and Wiggins have been through slumps in the past, and they’re just too good not to get back on track. But it’s a fact that this Warriors team cannot compete for a championship playing this way.

The Warriors are still in contention for the In-Season Tournament, but they have their eyes on the bigger prize. Also, with Thompson still fetching a contract extension — or a new deal altogether — his contributions in the upcoming months could be key in that regard.

Thompson is no longer the elite backcourt defender he was before the injuries, but he’s still one of the most efficient three-point shooters this game has ever seen, and the Warriors need him to perform as such.

SURVEY Can the Warriors turn things around?

Can the Warriors turn things around?

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