"We were a frustrated basketball team tonight," Lee said, via the San Jose Mercury News.
Frustrated indeed, but by what? Was it Golden State's 31 percent shooting rate? Perhaps it was the 16 turnovers. Or maybe Lee was referencing his own lackluster game, which featured a 3-of-13 performance from the floor, good for eight points, to go along with three rebounds.
It was a rough game for the Warriors, to make a drastic understatement, but why did everything go so wrong? Let's take a look at why the Bobcats were able to beat the Dubs for the second time this year.
Before we dive into what went wrong, let's examine the positives of the night, which were few and far between.
Stephen Curry's Turnover Total
No player has turned the ball over more times than Curry this season, but on Tuesday night, the Warriors point guard committed only two turnovers. That's now six of his last eight games in which Curry has turned the ball over three or fewer times, a promising trend for a season-long problem.
Also worth noting is Curry's shooting success. Other than MarShon Brooks, who hit his lone shot, Curry was the only Warrior to shoot better than 40 percent (8-of-18). (More on the shooting woes later.)
Offensive Rebounding Dominance
Yes, the Warriors doubled the Bobcats' offensive rebound total (18-9) in part thanks to all of the former's missed shots, but that's a lazy way of analyzing the numbers.
In reality, Andrew Bogut was an animal on the offensive glass, even grabbing two offensive rebounds on one possession at one point. The Australian big man finished with seven offensive rebounds, and the bench combined for eight more offensive boards.
Fast Break Points
Heading into Tuesday's game, the Warriors scored the ninth-most fast-break points per game, according to teamrankings.com, with an average of 14.9. But they recorded just four such points on Tuesday; while that discrepancy didn't account for the difference in the game, it certainly took the Warriors out of contention early.
As the San Jose Mercury News' Adam Lauridsen wrote, "If the Warriors aren’t going to bother running coherent plays in the half-court, there’s zero advantage to playing a slow pace...If the Warriors are just going to settle for isolation attempts, they might as well try to get them in the open spaces of transition offense."
That's exactly right, and there were isolation attempts abound on Tuesday. One thing was clear to anyone who watched the game: That strategy didn't work.
Now for your daily Warriors turnover report: Golden State committed 16 turnovers in Tuesday's loss!
It seems like there can't be a recap of a Warriors game without some sort of mention of the turnovers, and the loss to the Bobcats was no exception. We've all heard about this issue enough, so I'll just say this: It's an easily correctable problem, solved by greater focus throughout the entire 48 minutes.
Most importantly, it's a problem that must be corrected before the regular season comes to an end.
For a team that shoots as many outside shots at the Warriors, there's always bound to be off-nights. But Tuesday night was more than an off night.
There certainly seemed to be a lid on the basket, as the Warriors shot 31.2 percent from the floor, including 20 percent from three-point range.
Klay Thompson continued his offensive dry spell with a 5-of-13 performance, and Andre Iguodala, Lee and Bogut combined to hit nine of their 29 shots.
But that all pales in comparison to the bench, which was 7-of-33. I could devote another section to the bench's woes, but it would be moot because by now, essentially everyone is aware of the Warriors' bench struggles. I fear sounding like a broken record.
Why exactly did this shooting disaster happen? Part of it had to do with players missing open shots, which should happen at a premium in the NBA. You'll notice starting at about the 40-second mark in the video below, the Warriors missed plenty of open looks.
But much of the shooting troubles had to do with the Bobcats' inside presence. Time and time again, the Bobcats clogged the middle, forcing the Warriors to settle for mid-range jumpers, widely recognized as the least-efficient shot on the court. Worse yet, there didn't appear to be a Plan B.
The lack of an inside attack had to do with Lee's limited minutes (23 total) to a certain extent, but let's give credit where it's due: Bobcats center Al Jefferson had a fantastic game.
Aside from his 30 points, Jefferson grabbed 13 rebounds (11 defensively) and even added a pair of steals for good measure. He was a game-changer on Tuesday, to say the least.
Losing to the Bobcats at Home
What makes this a particularly puzzling loss is how well the Warriors are playing against elite teams, especially as of late.
Indeed, in their last six games, the Dubs have beaten the Trail Blazers and the Clippers, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in the Western Conference, respectively. But during that same stretch, Golden State has lost to the Timberwolves, Wizards and Bobcats, all of whom are no better than a game above .500.
Of course, it's preferable to have it this way instead of the other way around, where the Dubs could be losing to the better teams. But at the same time, the losses to mediocre teams interspersed with wins to the NBA's best teams means Golden State must avoid playing down to its competition. The Warriors host the Chicago Bulls on Thursday; that would be as good of a time as any to make the change.
All statistics courtesy of ESPN.
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