30 In 30: Golden State Warriors

 

May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) acknowledges the crowd after game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Spurs defeated the Warriors 94-82. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

LY W-L: 47-35

Key Additions: Tony Douglas, Andrew Iguodala, Jermaine O’Neal, Marreese Speights

Key Departures: Andris Biedrins, Jarrett Jack, Richard Jefferson, Carl Landry

Analysis: After defeating the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Quaterfinals and pushing the San Antonio Spurs to six games in the Western Conference Semifinals, the Warriors became the story of the postseason. Guard Stephen Curry dazzled the nation, averaging 23.4 points and 8.1 assists per game in the postseason after averaging 22.9 points and 6.9 assists during the regular season. Curry shot an incredible 45.3% from beyond the arc last season.He is joined in the back court by the 11th overall pick of the 2011 draft, swingman Klay Thompson. Thompson averaged 16.6 points per game and shot 40.1% from three, prompting many to wonder if the duo could become the greatest shooting back court of all time. The seventh overall pick of the 2012 draft, Harrison Barnes, started in every game he played in (93, counting the postseason) and rewarded the Warriors by upping his scoring average from 9.2 points per game during the regular season to 16.1 points per game during the postseason, giving the the Warriors one of the best young trios in the NBA.

During the offseason, the Warriors cleared cap space, presumably to make a run at center Dwight Howard. Instead, they wound up adding another fantastic wing player to their arsenal, signing Andre Iguodala to a four-year deal. Iguodala, known as one of the best defenders in the league, averaged 13.0 points, 5.4  assists and 5.3 rebounds per game with the Denver Nuggets last season. In order to clear room to sign Iguodala, the Warriors parted ways with point guard Jarrett Jack and power forward Carly Landry, but replaced them with Toney Douglas (7.5 ppg, 2.1 apg, 1.9 rpg), Jermaine O’Neal (8.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 1.4 bpg) and Marreese Speights (8.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg).

The Warriors will also get David Lee, who averaged 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game in 79 games last season, back from injury. He’ll join a front court that includes former top overall pick Andrew Bogut (5.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.72 bpg last season) the 30th pick of the 2012 draft, Festus Ezeli (2.4 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 0.9 bpg) and 2012 second round pick Draymond Green (2.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg).

(Projected) 2013-14 W-L: 52-30

The Warriors should be an improved defensive team (14th in defensive rating last season) and their talented back court should continue to score with anyone (11th in offensive rating). I see no reason why the Warriors can’t return to the second round of the playoffs and again contend for a spot in the Western Conference Finals.

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Topics: 30 In 30, Golden State Warriors

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