Down to only three healthy stars and just one MVP while still holding the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference doesn’t sound like too much adversity, but for the Golden State Warriors, things right now are about as rough as they’ve been for them in the regular season in years. 

They’re currently on a three-game losing streak, their first since (Warriors fans shield your eyes) the NBA Finals last year, and, including the game in which Kevin Durant went down injured, have lost five of their last seven. After Saturday night’s JV game loss to the Spurs, the Warriors’ lead for the top spot in the West is down to half a game. And if the Spurs beat the Hawks on Monday night, the two would be tied at 52-14.

After Monday’s practice, Steve Kerr was asked about the tough times the Warriors are dealing with, and gave a bit of a surprising answer. As it turns out, he actually thinks it’s good for the team. 

“This is going to sound crazy, but I kind of like it,” Kerr said. “I think you need some adversity. We obviously have some, probably for the first time in two and a half years, in the regular season.”

“I think adversity can help,” Kerr said. “It forces you to examine what you’re doing, clean some things up and get right. I think this is going to be good for us in the long run. ... I thought last year we just kept winning through a lot of the slippage late in the season.”

While Kerr would surely rather have a healthy Durant, his logic here makes sense. The Warriors are so talented that at times they get cocky (see: Steph Curry’s behind-the-back pass late in Game 7 against the Cavs last year) and lackadaisical. This current stretch has shown them that while even with Durant out they might still be the most talented team in the league, but they aren’t going to be able to waltz to the No. 1 seed in the West, let alone an NBA title. 

As Kerr noted, even though they weren’t playing their cleanest basketball at points last season, they just kept winning. And it’s hard for a coach to harp on his team for taking ridiculous shots or throwing unnecessary passes when they aren’t losing. The recent losing streak, brought about by the unfortunate injury to Durant, will give Kerr an opportunity to try and force his team to get back to basics. If he can do that, and the Warriors can carry that mentality along to the postseason when Durant returns, they’ll be even better than they were early in the season.