Golden State Warriors: Now is not the time to doubt the Dubs

NBA Goden State Warriors D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NBA Goden State Warriors D'Angelo Russell (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Even after losing Kevin Durant, now is not the time to doube the Golden State Warriors

With the season right around the corner, the Golden State Warriors appear to be the forgotten team in the league. Strange right? It’s mind-boggling considering the fact that they’ve reached the Finals the last five years and won three championships within that span.

Over the summer NBA stars hectically shifted locations, ultimately, allowing the Western Conference to grow increasingly stronger. Teams such as the LA Clippers, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers, have all significantly improved – post-free agency.

While the rest of the Warriors foe’s acquired star-level talent, The Bay Area, unfortunately, lost superstar Kevin Durant in free agency and Klay Thompson (for the first half of the season, at least) to an ACL injury. KD signed a four-year, $164 million contract with the Brooklyn Nets after the Warriors dealt him away in a sign-and-trade deal. In return, they received All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell.

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Meanwhile, Thompson is currently rehabbing from his injury suffered in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. HE is expected to return around the all-star break after recently signed a five-year, $190 million max deal during the offseason. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 21 points on 40 percent shooting from 3.

With this devastating news, the Warriors will rely heavily on the play of Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and newly acquired D’Angelo Russell. The trio will be tasked with the duty of wielding this team to make another postseason run.

Along with Russell, the Warriors added a few other faces this past offseason. Players such as Willie Cauley-Stein, Alec Burks, Damion Lee, Omari Spellman, and rookie Jordan Poole.

Many unfamiliar faces form this new Warriors squad, leaving much uncertainty in Golden State for the 2019-20 season.

Without Durant and Thompson, the Warriors clearly aren’t as deadly as they have been in years past. With that being said, they still possess a solid nucleus full of All-Stars. More importantly, they have Steph Curry. The lone Splash Bro is primed to erupt on the court this year and have another MVP level season.

Prior to Durant’s arrival, many seem to forget that Curry had just come off a season averaging 30.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists while collecting two steals a game. He was then named the first unanimous MVP in NBA history.

Curry is an elite talent in this league with an all-time great shooting stroke. There are just no words to describe his greatness. Becoming the primary scoring option again will lead to some spectacular numbers.

During this season Draymond Green will, once again, become the initiator on offense, increasing his role from years prior. Once again, many seem to forget the impact that Green has when he’s fully involved. Coming off season averages of 7.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.9 assists a game, his numbers are surely to increase. Look for Green to attack more on the offensive end with the lack of creators.

D-Lo made his preseason debut with the Warriors Saturday night against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Warriors fell 123-101 in preseason action. Coming into this season, my biggest question concerning the Warriors was their ability to integrate Russell into Steve Kerr’s offensive system.

His fit next to Curry looked rather poor Saturday night. The two played 18 minutes; Steph had 18 points while D’Lo had four. In order to get this backcourt to gel throughout the season, Steve Kerr will have to implement a pick-and-roll scheme to get Russell acclimated into their fast-paced, free-flowing barrage of threes.

Coming from the Nets, D’Angelo thrived off of the pick schemes that Brooklyn continuously ran for him. This offensive system allowed Russell to record a stat line of 21 points and seven assists last season on a less-talented Brooklyn squad.

Just look at how effective he can be when he receives a pick at the top of the key despite not using it. This is just a small sample of his pick-and-roll prowess.

Nonetheless, if the Warriors want to maximize his talents then they’ll have to instill pick-and-roll action into their game plan. With the acquisition of Willie Cauley-Stein, they posses a rim-runner to complement D’Angelo’s skill set in this two-man system.

Steve Kerr is an offensive genius and these schemes will be tested throughout the preseason. A team that is as intelligent and talented as Golden State will have no problem getting these two All-Stars to play well together.

With the way the Western Conference is rounding out, it appears that the Warriors will drop in the standings from last year. With the added talent in the West and Klay Thompson missing action until the back half of the season, I have the Dubs placing around seventh to eighth seed.

Teams like the (in no order) Rockets, Lakers, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Nuggets, Clippers, and Spurs, all pose as potential playoff teams. Ultimately, leaving a spot available for Steph Curry and the Warriors to occupy.

All Golden State has to do is stay afloat until they reach the postseason. At that point, Thompson should have had 20 games or so to find rhythm and regain his conditioning. With that being said, the Warriors, potentially, will possess a team with Steph Curry, D’Angelo Russell, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Next. New Orleans Pelicans: Best and worst-case scenario for 2019-20. dark

I give this team as good as any to compete for a title with that lineup, led by Curry.

As for now, the Warriors don’t mind being slept on in the NBA. They still have the talent and coaching to be a contender this season. Steph Curry will remain unstoppable and Golden State will enter a new era as they continue to keep their dynasty alive.