Oklahoma City Thunder forward Markieff Morris just did the most dangerous thing in the NBA: He gave the Golden State Warriors bulletin board material.
Prior to a 100-88 loss to the Warriors, Morris told Sam Amick of The Athletic he thought Golden State was “a lot more beatable.” Morris made those comments two nights before that loss.
“They definitely had that air of invincibility (before); I can say that,” the Thunder’s Markieff Morris told me just two nights before that one-sided, Warriors whopping. “I can honestly say they did. (But) you look around the league, and guys are getting better, guys are adjusting to their game. The style of play they play, they basically changed the NBA, so sooner than later guys are going to start to catch up with the way they’re going and they’re going to have to change.
“I think that’s what’s happening. Teams are figuring out how to play them different, and they definitely are. Even with Cousins, I think they’re a lot more beatable than they were in the past.”
While Morris’ comments look foolish in retrospect, he made them at an interesting time. Prior to taking on the Thunder on Saturday, the Warriors had gone 5-6 over their last 11 games. While that’s a normal rough stretch for many teams, it’s a reason to hit the panic button for the always steady Warriors.
If the Warriors are panicking about comments like that, they aren’t showing it. Big man Draymond Green delivered the most measured response to the idea the Warriors were “beatable,” saying he doesn’t blame teams for thinking that way, but the Warriors have proven their resilience in the past.
“People want to make themselves believe that we’re beatable, and I don’t blame anyone for that,” Green told me while sitting at his locker after the Warriors’ beatdown of the Thunder on Saturday. “You should believe that we’re beatable and that you can beat us. But at the end of the day, in a seven-game series, you’ve got to go out four times and prove that. And until someone proves that, they can think what they want.”
Considering the team’s recent run of success, Green has a point. The Warriors have won three of the last four NBA championships. Their only loss came against LeBron James.
With James and the Los Angeles Lakers no longer a threat, the Warriors don’t have much to worry about entering the playoffs. While they might be in a swoon now, the team has a history of turning up its intensity by the time the games really matter.
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