Programming note: Timberwolves-Warriors coverage starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND -– While the emotional Draymond Green fires up the Warriors and co-captain Andre Iguodala keeps them grounded, co-captain Stephen Curry remains the primary barometer of where the team stands.
With a 23-5 record, the Warriors are tops in the NBA. And Curry, in early going, leads all Western Conference players in votes for the 2015 All-Star Game.
So when Green rages about the Warriors' lack of intensity during their Christmas night loss to the Clippers, Curry is bound to have a reaction – just as he does to Iguodala constantly saying the team is nowhere near the peak of its potential.
Rest easy, Warriors fans. Curry is in full agreement with his teammates, particularly in the wake of successive losses to the Lakers and Clippers in Los Angeles.
'We're not the perfect team; we haven't been playing perfectly,' Curry said after the team's Saturday morning shootaround. 'So regardless of whether we're the best team in the league and have the best record, it doesn't mean we can just show up and win games.'
'That's kind of what they're getting at.'
There are many factors contributing to the lull that should end Saturday night, when the Timberwolves visit Oracle Arena.
There is the loss of center Andrew Bogut, who has missed the last eight games, a period during which the Warriors went 5-3. There is the integration of power forward David Lee, who was sidelined during their epic 16-game win streak and whose return Monday was followed by two losses in three games.
But Green and Iguodala weren't speaking so much about the team's health as about its progress and the requirements of growth.
Green believes the Warriors have to play with a certain zeal and swag, for without ruthlessness they are vulnerable. Iguodala believes the Warriors have to remain careful about the little things that can separate winning from losing.
Curry, despite the placid exterior, gets it.
'We understand we've built a good foundation with our record up to this point,' he said, 'And it's about not letting that slip.'
The Warriors currently lead the Trail Blazers by a half-game in the Western Conference standings. The Rockets are two games back, the Grizzlies two and a half. The Warriors still lead the sixth-place Clippers by four and a half games, but also have fresh memories of losing to them.
'We have to keep our edge,' Curry said. 'We have to play hungry. We have to be aggressive and always be on the attack and constantly finding little ways to get better as we go through this process.'
'When you're winning, you can still learn those lessons and it feels better. But when you go through a two-game losing streak, which is something we'd only done once this year, you've got to stay focused on what got us to this point.'
'It's a long season. We have an opportunity to get a lot better, which is scary.'
When Curry is on his game, the Warriors can conquer any team in the NBA. When he's on his game and is in mental and emotional rhythm with Green and Iguodala, the Warriors should be immune from a prolonged slump.