SAN ANTONIO – After losing their third and fourth straight in five matches, Steve Kerr acknowledged the Golden State Warriors will undergo their toughest regular season in more than four years as a coach.
"Oh yes," Kerr said after the Warriors fell 104-92 to the San Antonio Spurs. "But I have had a dream of running for four and a half years. We have had an existence that was fascinated for the past four seasons. This is the hardest time we faced.
"This is the real NBA. We haven't been in the NBA for the past few years. We've been in this dream. So now we face real difficulties and we have to get out of there ourselves."
On top of the problems on the floor, the Warriors played without Stephen Curry (left groin), while Draymond Green, who was suspended for one match last week for "doing harm to the team," has now lost the last two matches. because of an ongoing problem with toe pain.
Kerr remains confident that his group will soon roll back, but he knows the answer must come from within after a challenging week.
"Everyone must be united and you cannot feel sorry for yourself," Kerr said. "You have to commit to fighting and executing, competing for 48 minutes. I think we did it for 24 minutes tonight. We had some good stretches. I was very proud of the group in the second half, took us back to the game and they fought.
"It's not enough to do that and then experience a bad spell. You have to compete all the time and play calmly and play with purpose. I don't think we did that tonight."
Kevin Durant said Kerr's message to the group was quite simple.
"Play with joy," Durant said. "Just trying to regain that excitement."
Steve Kerr explains how Soldiers have been in an "enchanted" existence for the past four years and that this is their hardest stretch.
Despite the recent setbacks, the Warriors remain confident that they will be able to find the rhythm soon.
"It was a very bad trip as far as winning and losing," Klay Thompson said. "But we clearly don't know anything. I am proud of the way people fight. Besides matches in Houston, I feel that one match can go well; unfortunately, it's not. It's a challenging week in all the best for we are to stay away a little [Monday], regroup, take home and have fun, play with joy. "
Thompson and Durant have not been able to create much excitement without Curry or Green, as the pair combined to shoot only 19-for-51 from the field Sunday night. Despite a low percentage, Thompson said he would not change his mindset at all towards Wednesday's match against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"You did the same thing," Thompson said. "Take 51 shots on Wednesday and you make 35 whatever you make. It's that simple. It's not rocket science. You go there, you become aggressive, you do what you've done throughout your career. And I think I and KD's track record proves we will be fine. "
Kerr hopes the two players will be easy on themselves as they try to find the best solution to this slump.
"The two of them tried desperately to help us leave," Kerr said. "We rely heavily on them to score, obviously especially with Steph coming out. But, once again, we have to go back to the identity of our team, which is an extraordinary ball move, excellent defense, playing without goals, going out in transition and moving the ball, getting great shots. It's easier said than done, but it's something we've been doing for years. "
This was the first time in Kerr's tenure as a coach that the Warriors went 0-3 on a road trip. Meanwhile, Thompson did not buy that all of the drama last week had an impact on the way his group plays now. He thinks losses have come largely because the group did not execute.
"I don't think there is a drama that really affects how we play out there," Thompson said. "I think it's just that we played badly on our side. Can't blame the coach – we players will take ownership. I think there's the first time for everything. Steve is here, I think, five years now and for the first time going 0- 3? Very good if you ask me. This is not the end of the world. "
Thompson believes his team will return strong in the face of all the difficulties recently.
"We will be better than this," Thompson said. "I know that. Luckily, this isn't April; it's November, so we will be much better."