002. The Preseason
THE OFFSEASON IS OVER.
The NBA season starts today. HYPE.
But before we get there, there’s somethings worth discussing about the current state of the Golden State Warriors. This will be my first annual PRESEASON predictions post.
Last year the Warriors set a record for the most wins in a NBA season with 73-9. They were fresh off a championship season and kept the majority of their key players intact. This year, a lot of big personnel changes:
- Luke Walton leaves for a head coaching position to the Lakers and is replaced by Mike Brown.
- Harrison Barnes signs a 94m contract with the Dallas Mavs.
- Andrew Bogut also signs with the Mavs.
- Festus joins Damian Lillard and co in Portland.
- Fan Favorite Mo Buckets infiltrates the Clippers as a FA.
- Barbosa goes back to Phoenix were he was once loved and revered.
And the additions of course.
- Kevin Durant.
- Zaza Pachulia.
- Warriors rookies: Patty McCaw and Damian Jones.
- Mo Speights replacement David West.
- Shaqtin’ a fool MVP: JaVALLEEEEE MCGEE.
The good: Kevin Durant.
The bad: Losing Bogut. (and Barbosa)
The idontreallymindtoomuchasawarriorsfan: Barnes
I watched 3 preseason games and 1 in person.
Here’s my take:
KD will have no issues fitting in. Warriors players will need to adjust to look for him more. Barnes took about 10 shots per game last year (9 of which were wide open). Look for KD to continue his avg of 18-19 shots per game meaning guys like Draymond, Curry and even Klay will need to feed the SF more.
Zaza is no Bogut and it’s not even close. The Warriors will have to win games by outscoring and outrunning their opponents. Klay will need to step up his rebounding game and the Warriors will need to collaspe inside and let the other team beat them by shooting those long range shots. Zaza needs to be comfortable not having the ball and not playing an active role on offense aside from rebounding and spacing. Team rebounding will be key.
The Death Star lineup is stupid good and we already knew that. I didn’t think it could get any better from last year and.. obviously I was wrong. We were all wrong. Needless to say, KD adds length, athleticism and the ability to make wide open 3s. ouch.
The KD/Curry pick and roll is deadly. It’s like if I had an automatic golden gun and you had a pp7. It’s that broken.
The bench. Last year, the starters came out and blew away teams in the first quarter only to see their bench unit let the other team crawl back in. This year will be no different. The leads need to be greater as the bench will give up even more points. The bench unit this year is less experienced (sans Iggy and Livingston) and will most likely have trouble scoring. I would not be surprised to see Kerr stagger some of the starters especially if the game is close.
There will be more close games this year than there was last year. Teams last year played the Warriors with a chip on their shoulders. This year they will come at the Warriors with a plank. Everyone wants to show that they can beat the greatest team ever assembled; and the Warriors won’t care about winning regular season games nearly as much.
KD/Curry will automatically make All-Star but I can’t see the West giving 4 nods to the GSW unless they are on another verge of setting the regular season record (doubtful). Klay or Draymond will get shafted, my money goes to Klay taking the 3rd spot.
Following up on that, the only player this year with something left to prove is Klay Thompson. I think Klay will end most nights taking the most shots and will average about 25ppg (3 more points than he did last year). This will especially reign true since opposing teams can no longer hide their defenders on Barnes.
I think the Warriors will win 65 games this season. 65-17. 17 sounds like a lot of losses but given how much time it takes to gel and a team that won’t be record chasing I think its a solid case.
Steph Curry is a well-oiled yet unpredictable machine. He will have a bounce back season after a shaky playoff/finals run. He will remind everyone once more the crafty magician he is and why he deserved to be 2 time MVP. Will he win his 3rd straight? My heart says yes but my brain tells me no. Three straight MVPs hasn’t happened since Bird and Magic. Jordan has 5 MVPs but over a 10 year run with only 1 back to back. Lebron has his 4 MVPs but broken up by Derrick Rose in-between. The media will want something new. I don’t think Curry has been “figured out”; I think Curry will be at his best, but improving or even matching his production value and worth last season will be too unprecedented even for Steph Curry.
The GSW will win a championship this season. There’s too much on the line and too much at stake to falter once again. Last year was a fluke, this year they will be much more determined and much more prepared (Draymond) to deal with any and all extraneous issues. No more nutgates, no more fun and games, during the playoffs, this year will be, should be, all business.