Preseason Preview #1: Golden State Warriors

Season Goal: Championship or Bust

After sweeping the Cavs in the Finals last year, it seems as if the Warriors are guaranteed to win their 3rd straight championship and 4th in 5 years. The loss of key wing players for the Rockets, such as Trevor Ariza, has made them a much easier opponent for the Warriors. And, in the East, the Celtics and 76ers are too young to seriously contend. Also, the addition of Demarcus Cousins has given them a legitimate offensive threat at every position. It seems almost impossible for another team to pose a real threat to Golden State this season.

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Story Lines:

3 Peat?

Without any major injuries to the Warriors, it’s hard to see them losing any series in the playoffs. The Celtics may be a threat given their talent and incredible ability to switch all 5 positions. But, even then, they lack the top-heavy talent the Warriors have. The only real weakness the Warriors could face would be lack of shooting depth. Despite having three of the best shooters in the league (Curry, Thompson, KD) other key players such as Draymond and Iguodala have seemed to lose their shooting touch from three. Although this is a cause for concern, Draymond’s and Iguodala’s versatility make up for their lack of shooting, and the isolation ability of KD and Curry is still too much for most other teams to handle.

How much will Boogie help?

Even though he is an incredible talent it is important to remember that he is coming off a major Achilles injury. He won’t be the same player and will likely struggle to keep up with the Warriors fast-paced offense. Additionally, he has never been a very good defender and that surely won’t be better after the injury. Even though he was an elite center last season it’s important to remember he won’t be the same.

Despite these limitations, Boogie will still probably be better than JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia. Even if Cousins isn’t at 100% he still provides floor spacing and a dominant post presence the Warriors have never had. Additionally, the skill he brings as a facilitator will fit right in with Golden State’s pass-happy offense. There’s a chance that Cousins could grab a rebound, bring it down the court, and then pass it to Curry for an open three. Plays like that should terrify the other team. Obviously, Boogie will be limited and won’t provide much value on defense, but could add a new dimension to the already deadly Warrior’s offense.

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Depth Chart:

PG: Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston, Quinn Cook

SG: Klay Thompson, Jacob Evans

SF: Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala

PF: Draymond Green, Jordan Bell, Jonas Jerebko

C: Demarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney, Damian Jones

Salary Cap Situation:

Currently ~148M of ~101M soft cap committed

Expiring Deals: Kevin Durant (PO), Klay Thompson, Demarcus Cousins, Quinn Cook, Jordan Bell

Bad Contracts: None

*All salary data via sportrac*

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