USA TODAY

The Golden State Warriors have earned a lot of leeway, but this isn’t looking great. The defense and bench, both core elements of a near-decade run as top-flight championship contenders, are hide-your-eyes bad at the moment, and not even Stephen Curry having another MVP-level campaign is enough to cover for it all. 

On Wednesday, Curry scored 50 points at Phoenix. The Warriors still lost convincingly, 130-119, in a game that wasn’t as close as even the 11-point disparity would suggest down the stretch. 

Golden State, 6-9 overall, has now opened the season 0-8 on the road for the first time since 1989, when the Warriors lost their first nine road games. They should be able to avoid tying that dubious mark with their next road game against the Rockets on Sunday. 

But who knows with the way things are going. On Wednesday, the Suns got any shot they wanted, uncontested looks all over the court. You don’t say this often, but the Warriors just looked like they flat out couldn’t keep up, and it certainly didn’t help that Klay Thompson had another cold shooting night or that Jordan Poole didn’t make a single field goal. 

In a lot of areas, the Warriors have a lot of work to do. Might they consider trading one or more of their young pieces? Would they ever have the stomach to consider trading Thompson? Do they think they have what it takes on this roster to compete for a title? Surely, if they do believe that, they’ve earned that right. Doubting a Stephen Curry team, in pretty much any capacity, has proven foolish before. Just last season a lot of people thought they were a cut below the top contenders, and we know how that worked out. 

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