The Golden State Warriors may have one of the most talented teams on paper, so why can’t they meet the high expectations set forth by the organization? They have advanced no further than the conference semi finals in the past two seasons. The answer might have been that they are too young and had little experience. This is no longer the case, as the Warriors have added depth and experience to their squad with the additions of Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa. Players like Klay Thompson, David Lee, and Andre Iguodala have another year under their belt and could be primed to make a playoff run.
Let’s not forget about the best pure shooter in the NBA, Stephen Curry. Curry has solidified himself as a top five point guard in this league, and adding some playoff wins could bump him up even further on the list. Curry can shoot from anywhere but his ability to make his teammates better is often overlooked. Averaging more than eight assists per contest last season, Curry can find the open man and dish like a true point guard should. This Warriors team can no longer entertain the excuse of being young or inexperienced this year and they know it. Another playoff run could be in the cards for Golden State.
- KEY ADDITIONS: Leandro Barbosa (SG), Shaun Livingston (PG), James Michael McAdoo (PF)
- KEY LOSSES: Jermaine O’Neal (C), Steve Blake (PG), Jordan Crawford (SF)
My Starting Five
- Projected Win-Loss Record: 52-30
- Western Conference Rank: #6
The expectations for this Warrior team are very high, as they should be. This is a ball club with highly skilled NBA players in their starting five. Steph Curry is one of the best players in this league. David Lee is an All-Star forward who can rebound and score at will. Klay Thompson can shoot from three or drive past a defender using his speed. Andre Iguodala will take the ball to the basket and throw it down as if he is mad at the rim. Andrew Bogut can be a defensive force down low. When talking about these five players, you’re talking about a well-rounded group of starters.
When the starters need a rest, there shouldn’t be an issue. The addition of Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa adds depth coming off the bench. These are guys who have plenty of playoff experience and can help not only as players, but also as leaders. The Warriors didn’t fair well in the draft but managed to acquire James Michael McAdoo via the NBA Summer League. McAdoo, a former Tar Heel, can provide a spark off the bench. He is a big body with unlimited potential and great athletic ability, however, his fundamentals are slightly below level. Being a rookie, his areas of weakness can be worked on and improved over time.
All the pieces are in place for Golden State, it just needs to be put into action. With the season starting soon, the buzz around the Warriors will be big. Their fans do not want to be let down again. This is the year they can finally emerge as contenders in that very tough Western Conference.
The Western Conference is very tough. This makes it hard for a team to make a deep playoff run. The Warriors have been victims of the Western Conference for the past two years. A 50 win team can finish with a No. 6 seed in the West, while there are teams finishing under .500 and making the playoffs in the East. Playing in the West makes it difficult to take games off and to go in a slump. Maintaining such a high level of play is tough and is an area where the Warriors need to maintain consistency in order to stay alive. The problem is, no one knows if they sustain such a high level of competitiveness — it has been shown they cannot.
“Next Year” is a phrase in sports that can help most fans to sleep through the night. Golden State Warriors fans have been saying this for years. How many times is using the excuse of “next year” too much? In the end, this cannot diminish the Warriors morale. Staying positive is the hardest thing to do in sports. When expectations aren’t met, it can take it’s toll on players, coaches, and fans. The Warriors have all the talent in the world; however, their heads must be in the right place. This will take toughness by the players and motivation by the coaches. The players are all there, the talent is on the court, all that needs to be done is to win and stay the course.