Morning Shootaround

Golden State Warriors frustrated after slow start to season

Emotions boiled over for Golden State in loss to Memphis on Saturday night staff reports

* Recap: Grizzlies 111, Warriors 101

No, Stephen Curry didn’t necessarily throw his mouthguard at referee Scott Wall. But the Golden State star did hurl that particularly personal piece of equipment toward Wall, which might be enough to get lighten his wallet or even force Curry to sit on said wallet for a game.

Curry’s fit of pique was part of a meltdown that saw teammate Kevin Durant join him in an early exit from the Warriors’ loss in Memphis Saturday. Intriguing? Yeah. But the bigger picture – Golden State’s uncharacteristic slow (1-2) start to 2017-18 – is what merited the attention of The Athletic’s Anthony Slater:

These struggles were somewhat predictable. Eight days of their already-shortened preseason were hijacked for a goodwill trip to China, where the team had way more community events than full practices (only two in more than a week). It put them behind, from a conditioning and preparation standpoint.

The Warriors wilted late in the opener, blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead in a home loss to the Rockets. They slogged through the first half against the Pelicans on Friday night, before an energy jolt got them their first win of the season. Then on the second night of their first back-to-back, they laid a huge egg in Memphis, falling by 10 after trailing by double-digits most of the night.

“We’re obviously not ready,” Kerr said. “We’re not ready to put together a full effort. I’m not doing a great job of putting together combinations, finding the right motivation to get guys going, get some joy and some laughter in here and it’s just one of those rough patches.”

Among the most important issues to solve: Curry’s high foul rate.

Another issue: Turnovers. The Warriors have committed 17, 18 and 17 in their three games. They typically like to keep that to 14 or fewer.

Also: Consistent defense, which is related to energy and effort. Through three games, the Warriors have a defensive rating of 110.5, more than 10 points worse than where they finished up last season

Curry acknowledged his mouthguard mistake on Twitter:

The Warriors will head to Texas for their next matchup with the Dallas Mavericks on Monday (8:30 ET, NBA League Pass).