Steve Kerr: This is 1st Season Warriors' 'Puzzle Hasn't Come Together'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 7, 2021

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 01: Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors calls a timeout in the first half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on April 1, 2021 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,  by downloading and or using this photograph,  User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images

The 23-27 Golden State Warriors have lost seven of eight as they enter a home matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

Before the Bucks game, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr spoke about the team's issues this season, noting that the 2020-21 campaign is the first time in his head coaching career that "the puzzle hasn't come together" as far as finding lineup and rotation combinations that work successfully on a consistent basis.

"This is definitely the first time that the puzzle hasn't come together," Kerr told reporters.

"The first five years, obviously, everything went really smoothly. We had an amazing roster that fit perfectly. We had shooters, we had passers, we had defenders, we had two-way guys. We knew how blessed we were.

"This year, the puzzle has been much trickier to put together and we've tried a lot of different things. We've tried different lineup combinations, different rotations. We've tried to move the pieces around and, frankly, it has been very difficult to find anything that's been firm and successful. So, it's frustrating, but we've got to keep going and keep searching for consistency."

The Warriors are in the middle of a four-team race for the 10th spot in the Western Conference, which is good enough for the final place in the four-team postseason play-in tournament.

It's not where the Warriors wanted to be, especially when they were clearly in the top eight for much of the season prior to the recent slide.

They entered this season short-handed sans five-time All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson, who suffered a torn Achilles during a preseason workout. Two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry has also been forced to miss time with a bruised tailbone.

Still, this is an unusual season for the Dubs, who went to the NBA Finals during all of Kerr's first five years running the team.

The bottom fell out in 2019-20, as numerous injuries to all of the Warriors' key players led to a 15-50 season. There wasn't much Kerr could do as he worked with a limited roster because of the ailments.

This year has featured much improvement, but Golden State is now fighting for its playoff life with 22 regular-season games remaining.