There are NBA teams that are relatively happy to be 2-2 to start the season — and then there is the Golden State Warriors, defending NBA champions, who are not. For Steph Curry and company, two and two won’t do.
Plus, as champs the Warriors are subject to extra scrutiny for a mediocre start, especially by the talking head triumvirate of TNT’s NBA show, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley.
O’Neal and Smith believe the Warriors so-so start is due to the championship hangover, plus the fact that every team is geared up for the Warriors in a way they just aren’t for other opponents. (It’s one of the drawbacks of being champs.)
But Charles Barkley says it isn’t a hangover. Barkley says the reason for the start is that “this team is older.” Barkley says “as much as I love Klay [Thompson], he’s slipping. Same with Draymond [Green]. They’re not the same. In the finals you could see, they’re not the same guys they [were] two or three years ago.”
“When I watch the Warriors play,” Barkley says, “I say ‘oh man, Father Time is knocking on the door of a couple of these guys.'” They can still run, though (see below):
And they’ve sprinkled in lots of youth with Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, Andrew Wiggins and Jonathan Kuminga. So whether it’s a championship hangover or Father Time? Only time will tell.