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Three reasons why the Warriors season went down in flames

Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green #23 sits on the bench during the second quarter of their NBA play-in tournament game against the Sacramento Kings at the Golden One Center in Sacramento, California, on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. (Jane Tyska /Bay Area Newsgroup )

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr appeared on 95.7 The Game’s Willard and Dibs show the day after his Golden State Warriors were pummeled by the Sacramento Kings in an embarrassing late-season loss in the play-in tournament, complaining about what could have happened and, honestly, what should have happened. have been.

“This felt like a 50-win team to me. It feels to me like we have to be down 1-0 in a series without the season having ended,” he said.

Kerr is right, the Warriors would be in contention. They assembled, albeit clumsily, a veteran-leaning roster that expected to compete. The shame of all this is that the Warriors’ season didn’t have to end this way. They flamed out and now face a crucial offseason. Here are three reasons why the Warriors’ season ended the way it did.

Inflated leads

Golden State lost 13 games while leading by 12 points or more heading into the fourth quarter. The losses to the Thunder (November 18, December 8), Kings (November 28), Clippers (December 2) and Nuggets (January 4) were the most notable.

What stands out to me is that the Warriors had the firepower and offense to build the lead. They were unable to close out these games due to a combination of turnovers, defensive errors and exhaustion over the course of the games.

Because the Warriors’ motion offense is based on passes and cuts, high turnover numbers are a byproduct. The defensive failures were the biggest culprit of this blown lead. Opposing offenses often get a good look on the perimeter and get higher from three, especially since the Warriors’ defense tends to over-help, which leads to the next point.

Groen’s suspension

Draymond Green was suspended for 16 games for hitting Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkic. When the Greens’ suspension took effect on December 13, the Warriors’ defensive rating was an alarming 123.3.

During this period and his return, the Warriors’ defense had a rating of 117.7. Green’s presence on the floor during these games would have helped defensively in terms of roaming, assist and communication.

Offensively, his play could have swayed the Warriors’ way for a few games, not only with his facilitation, but also with his additional scoring. Groen has done his best to make defense worthwhile this season. He shot 39.5 percent from 3 – his highest percentage since the 2015-16 season.

When Green was available, he was positive. His temper was the Warriors’ most expensive turnover.

Mismanagement of the line-up