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Dunleavy acknowledges truth about Warriors' NBA championship fate

Dunleavy acknowledges truth about Warriors' NBA championship fate originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

The Warriors didn't make a major move ahead of Thursday's NBA trade deadline, but general manager Mike Dunleavy still has faith in the team's current roster.

Golden State (24-25) is one game out of an NBA Play-In Tournament spot, and a promising 4-1 record in their recent five-game road trip gave the Warriors rejuvenated momentum as they hope to climb into the playoff picture.

But as the Warriors, who have dominated the league over the last decade and won four titles in eight seasons, have watched their once-championship aspirations slowly shrivel into playoff desperation, Dunleavy shared an honest realization about Golden State's championship hopes this season.

"Well, we don't have a championship record at this point," Dunleavy told reporters Thursday via Zoom. "So that's the challenge: To get ourselves into the mix and get ourselves into the Play-In is the most important thing. We have championship experience. We have guys that have been there and can do it. I think we're capable.

"Unfortunately, we just haven't played to that level to this point of the season."

Golden State's rocky season has been highlighted by the suspensions of Draymond Green, the struggles of Andrew Wiggins and Klay Thompson and the surge of its youth, particularly Jonathan Kuminga.

All four of those names above were mentioned in trade talks before Thursday's deadline. All four remain on the Warriors' roster -- and seemingly for good reason.

The Warriors' blowout win over the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night was proof of that, at least for now. But Dunleavy and the rest of the team know there still is plenty of work to be done -- and they're confident they have the right tools to get the job done.

"My biggest concern defensively frankly is our ability to stop the ball, protect the basket," Dunleavy said. "We looked at things that would help with that, but I think if everyone plays to their maximum ability, I think we're there with any team in the league. I think we've shown that this year with the games we've been in. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to win those games in a lot of cases.

"But the train's moving out of the station right now and we got to get this thing going. I think everybody feels a sense of urgency."

The Warriors' upcoming four-game stretch will be key to their place in the playoff picture. And if they want to get back to the team that once was respected across the league, the task at hand continues Saturday against the Phoenix Suns.

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