Steve Kerr

Kerr admits spiraling Warriors lack confidence, have lost spirit

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SAN FRANCISCO – As the Warriors have tumbled down the Western Conference standings in recent weeks, coach Steve Kerr has tried to bite his lip and maintain his cool when it comes to dealing with his players.

But after a second consecutive blowout home loss, Kerr said that Golden State has lost some of its confidence and acknowledged it might be time for him to speak up a little bit more.

“As a coach it’s a delicate balance,” Kerr said after the Warriors' 141-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night. “When we’re fragile like we are right now, I don’t think that screaming and yelling at them is going to help. I’m trying to keep their confidence up, I’m trying to encourage them. But at some point that may have to change.

“We can’t keep going this way, two straight games being non-competitive at home. We have to find some fight. We may have to resort to some different tactics but more than anything we’ve gotta be connected defensively to give ourselves a chance.”

The Warriors' defense, or lack thereof, has been a common theme this season. Other factors that have played significant roles in the team’s poor play are the the suspension of Draymond Green and injuries to key players like Chris Paul and Gary Payton II.

Green had his NBA suspension lifted and could rejoin the team shortly. Payton could be cleared to return within the next three weeks, while Paul is likely to miss at least a month after having surgery on his fractured left hand.

But it’s an overall feeling of unease and uncertainty on the court that have plagued the Warriors and have factored in heavily into the team’s current fall.

“You can describe it however you want," Stephen Curry said. "We’re just not playing great basketball, not giving ourselves any chance to be competitive these last two games. When you give the other team belief and give the other team a reason to keep their foot on the gas pedal, it makes it even harder knowing we’re going through our struggles as a team. However you describe it, it’s gotta change.”

Things have turned so sour that the crowd at Chase Center rained down a chorus of boos for the second consecutive home game.

“We deserved it for sure,” Kerr said. “I think we’re just lacking confidence right now. You just sort of get to a stage sometimes where you just kind of lose your belief. It happens. That’s what’s happened right now with our team the last few days. We’ve just lost the spirit and confidence that has to carry you against talented teams night in and night out.”

Kerr and his players all pointed to a lack of communication on defense being one of the biggest stumbling blocks.

“We do have a very quiet group of guys with this particular team that’s out there now,” Kerr said. “We probably need a pick-me up. We need Draymond, we need Chris. We need guys who can rally the troops right now.

“When you’re going through it like this, there’s only one way out. And that’s to fight together. Somehow we gotta get stops. We gave up 141 points, they scored at will. We have to get stops to be able to be competitive.”

If there’s any light at the end of the tunnel, it’s that the Warriors are taking their act on the road. Their next four games are away from Chase Center, which may or may not help the team bond together without the distractions of playing at home.

After the loss to the Pelicans, Klay Thompson said that the mood inside the Warriors’ locker room was "pretty deflating."

“But that’s expected when you get blown out twice in a row at home,” Thompson said.

With the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline looming, there’s been plenty of speculation about what the Warriors will do, if anything. Jonathan Kuminga and Andrew Wiggins have both been mentioned as potential players to trade, though nothing has materialized as of yet.

When asked about the possibility of the Warriors making some sort of deal, Stephen Curry seemed open to the idea.

“If things stay the same, that’s the definition of insanity, right?" Curry said. "Keep doing the same thing expecting a different result. As players and what we can do, we have to control our effort, our focus, competitiveness. Control the things that we can on the court.”

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