After watching the Golden State Warriors be absolutely annihilated by a De’Aaron Fox-less Sacramento Kings, it was obvious that the absence of Stephen Curry has been more difficult to swallow than originally anticipated.
It was assumed that following Curry’s diagnosis the Warriors would be capable of still hanging around with some of the West’s worst teams. However, after a home loss to the Knicks and 20-point loss to the Kings, it’s clear that was too much to ask.
Part of this can be put on D’Angelo Russell. While he hasn’t played that many minutes, Russell is averaging under 17 points per game over his last six. He just hasn’t adapted well in the Bay so far after putting up over 50 points earlier this season.
It’s not just Russell though. Paschall has had a few absolute duds while Draymond Green has also heavily struggled at times this season. While their play has been brutal, it’s all gone back to Curry’s broken left hand and how brutal that’s been on Golden State’s offense.
Although Curry hadn’t been having a great season without his sidekick Klay Thompson, it was his impact in the offense that helped Golden State’s half-court sets run to fluidly. It helped Draymond Green and others find their rhythm as the spacing was positively impacted with Curry on the court.
The problem isn’t that they are without a closer. Russell can handle the team if it comes to succeeding down the stretch; however, the Warriors are without a player that can consistently be a dynamic threat without the ball.
Russell has his nights, but it seems like the 25-point-average is far from the norm for the fifth-year star guard. Aside from Russell, players like Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks were never meant to be the spearhead of the offense.
Burks and Robinson have been forced to become offensive leaders since Curry’s injury, and both Russell and Green have felt the impact of Curry’s absence. So have the fans watching a 21-point home loss to the 12-14 Kings.