Morning Shootaround

Steve Kerr critical of Golden State Warriors' lack of focus in loss staff reports

Come for the grumble, stay for the tumble: That’s sort of how it went on the flip side of Detroit’s upset victory over Golden State in Oakland.

The Warriors, particularly forward Draymond Green and coach Steve Kerr, already weren’t happy when the evening began, due to the NBA’s adjudication of Green’s involvement in the skirmish with Washington’s Bradley Beal (“I don’t know how you get fined $25,000 for being attacked,” Green said).

By the end of the night, though, it was a familiar and self-induced failing that had reared up to spoil the night against the Pistons, as Anthony Slater of The Athletic chronicled:

How and why did this happen? Defense, you’d assume. But no. The Warriors were pretty stingy in halfcourt settings, holding the Pistons to 46.2 percent shooting despite a ton of runout opportunities.

Why’d they have so many runout chances? Turnovers. Lots of turnovers: 26 in total for the Warriors, the most they’ve committed in a game since November 2011. Those giveaways led directly to 33 Pistons points.

“This has nothing to do with trying to be unselfish,” coach Steve Kerr said. “This has to do with a complete lack of focus, fundamentals. We’re throwing the ball all over the place. Some passes are just hitting guys in the shoes, even when they’re not turnovers. It’s focus and execution.”

This isn’t a new 2017 malady for the Warriors. It’s long been discussed as the softest spot on this hard-shelled monster. Gather a batch of creative, confident stars and unleash them on the league in a free-flowing pass-pass-pass system at an up-tempo pace and this is the result.

Steph Curry might ping a behind-the-back pass out of bounds, Kevin Durant might wing a cross-courter to the other team, Draymond Green may make a bold but unsuccessful outlet heave. They’ve been in the top-10 in turnovers per game the past five seasons.

But typically when they stray off course and get particularly careless a few straight games, Kerr roasts them in the media, badgers them even harder behind closed doors and a prideful group of players focuses and corrects it, at least until they forget again a couple weeks later.

Not right now, though. Here are their turnover totals the first seven games: 17, 18, 17, 16, 17, 17 and 26. That’s seven straight games with at least 16. Last season, they never committed 16-plus in more than three straight games. The season before, they never did it in more than four straight games.

These past few Warriors teams have been among the most efficient in NBA history. Entering Sunday, their offensive rating was 117.6, the highest ever. Opponents can’t match them efficiency-wise. But they don’t have to if they get way more chances.

The Warriors took 77 shots on Sunday night. The Pistons took 93.

“You give a team 16 more shots and they only win by eight, that goes back to the turnovers,” Durant said. “We keep the ball in our hands and get shots up, you know if we’re shooting 57 percent, 60 percent of those shots may go in if we get them up every time down.”

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