The Post-Dynasty Hangover Is Hitting the Warriors Like a Sack of Bricks

Liam McKeone
Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After one of the wildest summers in NBA history, the only thing we all knew for sure was that the Warriors were no longer overwhelming favorites to win it all. Between Kevin Durant's departure and Klay Thompson's torn ACL -- and not to mention losing Andre Iguodala -- their dynasty as we knew it was over. They still have Steph Curry and Draymond Green, of course, and acquired D'Angelo Russell, but it's only natural they take a step back after five years of the most dominant team basketball has seen this century.

Nobody thought it would be this bad, though. They've lost their first two games by a combined 47 points. At one point against the Thunder on Sunday afternoon, they were down by no less than 40 points. Curry has averaged 23 points per game to start the year, shooting an abysmal 20 percent from three. Russell hasn't been much better, and was ejected on Sunday after a pretty terrible decision to continue yapping at the ref after his first technical foul. As Green put it, the Warriors "f---ing suck right now."

There are more than a few legitimate reasons for the Warriors to struggle like this early on, even if we didn't expect them to fall quite this low. It's the first time in three years Curry and Green are starting the year without Thompson or Durant by their sides. Russell, while talented offensively, has yet to grasp the entirety of Golden State's complicated system and has large strides to make before he could even be considered adequate on the defensive end. Green is a great player, but if he isn't shooting well, he struggles to impact the game offensively unless he's surrounded by shooters.

Curry is the most puzzling part of the slow start. Many believed that his return to the role of undisputed first option would also bring about the re-emergence of MVP Steph Curry, who lit the world on fire back in 2015 as the first unanimous MVP winner in league history. So far, he's just been ice cold. He gets swarmed when he has the ball, and just hasn't hit his open shots on the rare occasion he has one. It'll come around; as one of the greatest shooters basketball has ever seen, he will not be shooting 20 percent from beyond the arc all season. I can say that with full confidence. But the slow start shows that the Warriors go as Curry goes, and if he can't buy a bucket some nights, it'll be very hard for this team to even stay in the game, much less pull out a win.

Curry and Green have played into June five years in a row. Sure, that's nothing compared to LeBron James doing so for eight consecutive years, but there's nobody like LeBron James. There's a certain amount of fatigue, both physical and mental, that builds up after playing 95+ games every year. Saying the cracks are starting to show after a whole two games, eight quarters, and 96 minutes of basketball is an overreaction, to be sure. But, all things considered, maybe this amount of early-season struggle isn't as surprising as we're all making it out to be.