Despite receiving reinforcements on the roster in the form of Draymond Green, the Warriors struggled to make significant improvements Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks, just 24 hours after one of their most brutal losses.
After losing by 24 points at one point, the Warriors put themselves in position to make it competitive several times throughout the night, but they couldn’t get over the hump and ultimately fell to the Hawks 124-108 at Chase Center.
While Atlanta’s offense flowed and shot 54.8 percent from the ground, the Warriors (22-24) were stuck, despite Andrew Wiggins having 29 points, and down the stretch, they were unable to defend without fouling.
This loss puts the Warriors on a four-game losing streak, tied for their longest losing streak this season.
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ latest loss:
Warriors need more than Wiggins
Similar to how it makes sense for the Warriors defense to be poor without Green, it’s obvious their offense drops a couple of notches without Steph Curry. He’s their best offensive player and centerpiece, and without that, the Warriors lose a lot of power.
Wiggins helped regain some of that power against the Hawks.
He scored 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting to go with seven rebounds and three assists, and was the only major source of offensive production for the Warriors.
This isn’t the first time he’s stepped up in Curry’s absence.
In Game 1, the Warriors played without Curry against the Grizzlies, Andrew Wiggins went for 40. That night, Golden State didn’t miss a beat without its point guard. But that was because, in addition to Wiggins’ score, two players scored at least 25 points.
Since then, Wiggins has been the closest thing the Warriors have found to consistent success on offense, but they need more of the rest of the role players. In fact, they’ll need more even after Curry returns.
Defensive fighting continues
When the Warriors were barely able to make a save against the Kings on Thursday, you may have put it down to Draymond being sidelined with illness. He is the defensive anchor, after all.
But those struggles continued Friday against the Hawks, despite having the former Defensive Player of the Year back on the court.
Against Atlanta, it wasn’t that the Warriors defense was being ripped apart by Trae Young and the Hawks. That could have been part of it, but the other part was Golden State’s lack of effort.
They were late in rotations, defended with little physicality, and ran in sets. The Warriors’ inside defense was particularly weak, where they allowed the Hawks to score 60 points in the paint.
The Warriors got more involved in the second half, but they had to be strong from the jump.
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James Wiseman recovers
After a performance Thursday night that frustrated Wiseman’s visibility, he recovered very well against the Hawks on Friday.
Wiseman looked more comfortable on the Chase Center court, taking his time getting into position and not forcing his shot.
Before the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he wanted his rookie to play more relaxed because that would make his game more natural. That’s exactly what happened.
He finished with 18 points on 7 of 13 shots and five rebounds.
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