After a strong start to the season, the Golden State Warriors are enduring a tough stretch of basketball. In their last 10 games, they are just 4-6 and have lost three straight.
Despite the facts, NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal isn't ready to sound the alarm. On 'Inside the NBA' Tuesday, he explained why he has not lost faith in Dub Nation.
“It’s hard to really judge this team when they’re not at full strength. When they become full strength, I’m not really worried about them because their three main core guys have done it, they’ve been there before,” said Shaq. “If you get 2-3 guys, you only need the rest of the guys to be followers, and to be role players, and to be proficient role players. When they get together, when they get to the playoffs and they know what's at stake, I'm not worried about this team. Because, again, these guys have been there before, they know what to do. They will lead and hopefully, others will follow."
As a team, the Warriors have more winning experience than anybody else. With 5 Finals appearances and 3 Championships over the past decade, they have dominated the modern basketball era with an iron grip.
Unfortunately, this season has been bombarded with countless obstacles, including an injury that will keep Steph Curry out until the start of the playoffs.
"They're over," said Kendrick Perkins. "And look, it's not because of the lack of playing time that Steph, Klay, and Draymond have had this season... Steve Kerr hasn't figured out his rotations... For the last part of the season, you've gotta have guys knowing their roles and knowing their place. And that's why I say, with Steph Curry injured and not coming back until the playoffs, I strongly believe that the Warriors title hopes are done for this season. Period."
In a Western Conference that is loaded with talent, the Warriors are going to need to be at full strength if they want to make it to the Finals again.
Despite everything stacking against them, here is a sense that Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson can never be counted out of the title chase. They know what it takes, after all.