NBA season preview: Golden State Warriors

NBA season preview: Golden State Warriors


NBA season preview: Golden State Warriors

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 28: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors drives against Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the fourth quarter in game six of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 28, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

STAYING: Ian Clark, Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Kevon Looney, James Michael McAdoo, Klay Thompson and Anderson Varejao.

ADDED: Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City), Damian Jones (Vanderbilt), Patrice McCaw (Nevada-Las Vegas), JaVale McGee (Dallas), Zaza Pachulia (Dallas), David West (San Antonio) and Elliot Williams (Panathinaikos).

GONE: Harrison Barnes (Dallas), Leandro Barbosa (Phoenix), Andrew Bogut (Dallas), Festus Ezeli (Portland), Brandon Rush (Minnesota) and Marresse Speights (LA Clippers).

STRENGTHS: Perhaps the most talented roster ever assembled … One of the most devastating offensive machines the NBA has ever seen adds one of the most potent scorers of all time to the mix … How do you keep a team featuring the best shooter in history (Stephen Curry) and a four-time scoring champion (Kevin Durant) from torching you? … When Klay Thompson is your opponent’s No. 3 offensive option, you know you’re in for a long night … And of course, it’s not just about individual skill … Golden State is just a well-oiled machine … The ball movement and spacing have been mindbogglingly good the last two seasons … They can do damage shooting from the outside, driving to the basket or running the break … The Warriors have been just as good defensively as they’ve been on the offensive end, which makes them all the more terrifying … They have two Defensive Player of the Year candidates in Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green, who’s a rare combination of star/role player … Pretty athletic squad … Many players with great motor, which is a must for a team that plays with that pace … Excellent rebounding … Expect multiple blowouts, so the team’s superstars might get rest on a regular basis in fourth quarters … Probably too at the end of the regular season with a likely No. 1 seed locked up early.

WEAKNESSES: Overwhelming expectations may be too much to handle for some …  Could they wilt under their weight? … Anything but a title will be a failure … They will have a target on their backs every night, especially those who just left Oklahoma City … Steve Kerr must make these awesome pieces fit … Curry, Thompson and Durant have always been low-maintenance stars, but you can’t discount potential chemistry problems … Everybody will have to sacrifice shots … They might miss Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli some … The Warriors lost some intimidation and athleticism down low, especially if JaVale McGee doesn’t stick around … What they gained in star power they lost in depth … Probably a good tradeoff, but it could hurt them in case of injury.

PREDICTION: 1st in the Pacific Division, 1st in the Western Conference.



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