Can the Warriors return to championship rivalry?

Given the place they had been a number of seasons in the past because the league’s most up-to-date dynasty crew, the autumn from grace has been steep but comprehensible for the Warriors. In successive years they misplaced Kevin Durant after which Klay Thompson — twice. And so they haven’t been to the playoffs since.

A excessive payroll restricted their flexibility, so Golden State basically positioned itself in a holding sample whereas ready on Thompson to recuperate from knee and Achilles accidents. It additionally hoped Stephen Curry stayed wholesome in addition to productive and entertaining. The excellent news is Curry has been that and extra. Now the Warriors await Thompson’s return and pray for higher days.

Golden State had a pair of possibilities to swap their excessive Draft picks for extra fast assist and resisted twice — two summers in the past after they took James Wiseman after which this summer season after they drafted Jonathan Kuminga (No. 7 general) and Moses Moody (No. 14) within the first spherical. Principally, the Warriors are attempting to be a title contender and in addition put together for the longer term, inserting one foot in every path. That’s a wierd means of doing enterprise when Curry, Thompson and Draymond Inexperienced aren’t getting any youthful. We’ll see what it brings.


BIGGEST QUESTION

There isn’t one query dealing with Thompson, there are a bunch. Specifically: When will he return to the lineup? How recovered will he be from two main surgical procedures? How a lot will the Warriors restrict his enjoying time and his video games? Can he assist them return to being an elite crew? And can this be the Splash Brothers Half II? Or extra like a knock-off of the unique? Increase your hand if you recognize the solutions.


SEASON PREDICTION

The Warriors are able to reintroduce themselves to the pack of contenders, lots of whom seized benefit of Thompson’s harm to take the Warriors’ place in line. Golden State might want to put within the work to regain respect. Whereas Curry lead the league in scoring in 2020-21 (32.0 ppg), it wasn’t sufficient to raise this crew to the playoffs. Even when Thompson returns efficiently, not less than one of many kids should speed up their improvement to ensure that Golden State to play into late Could or June. Predicted end: 47-25.


PROJECTED STARTING FIVE

Stephen Curry: A two-time Kia MVP winner is coming off an MVP-finalist season and signed a max contract extension. Briefly, life is sweet.

Klay Thompson: His profession capturing percentages are 45.9% general and 41.9% on 3-pointers — only a reminder in case you forgot.

Draymond Inexperienced: He’s nonetheless a priceless participant for this explicit crew though his dreadful decline as a scorer is problematic.

Andrew Wiggins: A well-liked punching bag since signing a max deal in Minnesota and by no means dwelling as much as it, Wiggins is definitely a good match right here as a secondary choice.

James Wiseman: Outsized expectations had been heaped on the large man as a rookie. He ought to enhance with much less fuss surrounding him.


KEY RESERVES

Otto Porter Jr.: Exhausting to imagine, however only a few years in the past, previous to accidents, Porter was one of many most interesting deep-shooters within the NBA.

Jonathan Kuminga: He brings wanted athleticism to the Warriors and will earn a heaping slice of rotational minutes as a rookie.

Kevon Looney: He has reached his ceiling and settled in as a good position enjoying large man.

Jordan Poole: He and Damion Lee appear able to take one other respectable step of their improvement and within the rotation.


LAST 5 SEASONS

How the Warriors have fared stats-wise during the last 5 seasons …

Season W L Win pct. OffRtg Rank DefRtg Rank NetRtg Rank
2020-21 39 33 .542 110.5 20 109.4 5 +1.1 15
2019-20 15 50 .231 104.4 30 113.0 26 -8.6 30
2018-19 57 25 .695 115.0 1 108.6 11 +6.5 2
2017-18 58 24 .707 112.8 3 106.8 11 +5.9 3
2016-17 67 15 .817 114.8 1 103.4 2 +11.4 1

OffRtg = Factors scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Factors allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Level differential per 100 possessions


STAT TO KNOW

194 — Draymond Inexperienced had 194 assists to Stephen Curry final season, 51 greater than some other participant needed to a single teammate. Inexperienced himself averaged simply 8.1 area purpose makes an attempt per 100 touches, fewest amongst 325 gamers with not less than 1,000 touches. Juan Toscano-Anderson (9.2) and Kevon Looney (10.9) averaged the second and fourth fewest, respectively.

— John Schuhmann

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Shaun Powell has coated the NBA for greater than 25 years. You may e-mail him right here, discover his archive right here and observe him on Twitter.

The views on this web page don’t essentially mirror the views of the NBA, its golf equipment or Turner Broadcasting.

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