Defending NBA champions history shows Stephen Curry, Warriors could be down a dark path

By | November 18, 2022

The Warriors seemed extra like cubic zirconia than gold to start out the 2022-23 season.

Within the first month of the brand new marketing campaign, Golden State has been one of the crucial disappointing groups within the NBA. After a loss to the Suns on Wednesday evening, which drew heavy criticism from head coach Steve Kerr, the Warriors sit close to the underside of the Western Convention standings.

Stephen Curry was spectacular, averaging 32.8 factors, 6.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists with 53.1/44.7/92.9 taking pictures occasions (subject targets/3 factors/pictures francs). Past Curry’s particular person brilliance, nevertheless, the numbers have been tough.

Golden State holds the league’s fourth-worst defensive ranking (114.1) after ending second in that class final season (106.6). The Warriors are one of many worst rebounding groups within the NBA, and so they flip the ball round at a excessive charge. Opponents dominate their bench models.

Whereas there’s nonetheless time for the Warriors to return to their golden kind, it is inconceivable to utterly ignore the warning indicators, particularly contemplating the historical past of groups that struggled early within the seasons instantly. after a championship.

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What the historical past of the defending NBA champions teaches us concerning the Warriors

Golden State’s loss to Phoenix left Kerr’s group with a 6-9 general report. It is tied for the third-worst mark ever by a defending champion in 15 video games.

To make issues worse, the Warriors are 0-8 on the street. It is the longest dropping streak on the street to a defending champion because the Bulls of 1998-99, by ESPN Stats and Information. Final season, Golden State didn’t lose its eighth street sport till January 13, 2022.

The 15 worst video games begin with the defending champion
Season Crew Registration Remaining registration
1969-70 Boston Celtics 4-11 34-48
1998-99 Chicago Bulls 4-11 13-37
2002-03 Los Angeles Lakers 5-10 50-32
1948-49 baltimore bullets 6-9 29-31
1956-57 Philadelphia Warriors 6-9 37-35
2006-07 miami warmth 6-9 44-38
2022-23 Golden State Warriors 6-9 ?
1947-48 Philadelphia Warriors 7-8 27-21
2004-05 Detroit Pistons 7-8 54-28
2021-22 Milwaukee {dollars} 7-8 51-31

It is arduous to check the 2022-23 Warriors to groups from the ’40s and ’50s, however there are some classes to be discovered from the fashionable teams.

The 1969-70 Celtics and 1998-99 Bulls failed to achieve the NBA Playoffs after dropping larger-than-life superstars in Invoice Russell and Michael Jordan. The Warriors nonetheless have their core trio of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Inexperienced in place, however they misplaced key gamers like Nemanja Bjelica, Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II within the offseason.

The 2002-03 Lakers didn’t beat 4 rounds, dropping within the Western Convention semifinals after profitable three consecutive titles. They then misplaced to the Pistons within the 2005 NBA Finals, ending the Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal period. The Warriors could possibly be on an analogous trajectory, having gained 4 rings in eight seasons.

Maybe the best-case state of affairs on the record above, the 2004-05 Pistons took the Spurs to seven video games within the 2005 NBA Finals, however they could not come again to again. Detroit managed to advance to the Jap Convention Finals in every of the subsequent three seasons earlier than embarking on a prolonged rebuild. Might the Warriors prolong their championship window with a profitable commerce now?

On the opposite facet of the spectrum, the 2006-07 Warmth had been doomed by harm. O’Neal and Dwyane Wade performed simply 91 video games mixed, and Miami was swept within the first spherical of the NBA Playoffs. The Warriors have prevented any main accidents up to now, however the well being of Curry, Thompson and Inexperienced is value watching.

And eventually, the 2021-22 Bucks have recovered from their gradual begin, tying the Celtics and 76ers for the second-best report within the East (51-31). Milwaukee fell to Boston in a aggressive Jap Convention semifinal collection, however the Bucks are positioned to be one of many high contenders for years to come back.

So what’s the principle takeaway right here? Properly, every group has one factor in frequent: they did not win the championship. The Warriors have some critical work to do in the event that they wish to break this development.