Change Is Due For The Golden State Warriors

With the NBA trade deadline almost a month away and a 17-20 record, a shake-up is on the horizon at the bay.

Change Is Due For The Golden State Warriors
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Your lead wasn't safe when playing the Golden State Warriors in the heyday of their phenomenal run of four NBA championships since 2015. It didn't matter if you were up 15 points come halftime — it was a formality that the good ole Warriors' third-quarter flurry would have them come roaring back. The 2023-2024 version of the Warriors looks like an opposite mirror image that struck fear into the hearts of every team they face. One of the key moments of the Warriors dynasty I always refer to is the 2016 game-winning three-guard Steph Curry hit a fantastic three-point shot in a primetime showdown against the Oklahoma City Thunder that had Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Dynasties always come to an end, and nobody stays on top forever. Amazingly, the Warriors have managed to do that for this long. The aura they carried for an almost decade-long stretch seems to be wearing off, and change is coming. The buzzer beaters? Last Thursday, it was perennial Denver Nuggets all-star center Nikola Jokic who hit a 39-foot three-pointer to beat the Warriors after the team gave up an 18-point lead to lose 130-127. (it's the fourth 18-point lead they've blown this season)

Last night's 141-105 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans felt like a five-alarm fire. The team is currently out of the playoff race with a 17-20 and 12th place in the Western Conference. There has been a cavalcade of unexpected adversity and the usual "play within the system" metrics might not be the way out. For starters, there is the Warriors' big three. While center/forward Draymond Green is due to return after an indefinite suspension, there's no telling what his availability will be. The less-than-fruitful contract negotiations for an extension regarding Klay Thompson are no doubt weighing on his mind and play on the court. Steph Curry is still playing at a high level, but with supporting players like forward Andrew Wiggins regressing, that load might be too heavy to carry.

Head Coach Steve Kerr is just looking for a spark. The Warriors have started 13 different lineups this season and have a net efficiency rating of minus 9.8, noted by ESPN. There is also the dust-up young star Jonathan Kuminga has had with Kerr over playing minutes. Veteran guard Chris Paul is currently out with a hand injury. It isn't good! Somehow, you think the Warriors will figure it out because they always do. But with the February 8th trade deadline a little more than a month away, it's almost certain that something will change with this roster. It might not be as drastic as moving Thompson or Green, but something has to happen to spark this team to at least get into the play-in tournament.

Things never stay the same in sports. Warriors fans were booing the team for the second straight game last night. While I'm sure there will be more Curry turn-away three-pointers in the games to come, the formula that was so potent in the four-title/ten-year run has to change its DNA. Don't believe me? Curry's post-game comments last night track in that direction. While I don't think that he will make complete declarations like Lebron James has done at times throughout his career, it's clear the clock is ticking.