Warriors

3 Bold Predictions for the 2020-2021 Warriors

on

The Golden State Warriors are already riding the 2020-21 NBA wave by the seat of their pants. They lost a star to injury, added some impressive young talent, reshaped their entire roster, and are navigating the ramifications of two key players testing positive for COVID-19.

And we’re only just past the preseason.

In a lot of ways, the Dubs represent what the league will look like at large during this wild condensed season—COVID complications, injuries and roster shakeups. But even if this was a “regular” NBA season, the Warriors would still be at the top of the list of biggest question-marks in the league.

Is Steph still going to be Steph?

Can the Warriors culture actually make a really good player out of Andrew Wiggins?

Can this team win without Klay?

Was last year’s Draymond the guy we should expect to see in number 23 (big gulp) from here on out?

Anyone following the Warriors knows the list goes on and on.

Between all the uncertainty that naturally surrounds this squad, and the tumult that will inevitably ravage this season, there’s no time like the present to share three bold predictions for Steph and the Warriors this season.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that all of the following are predicated on Steph having a healthy season. If he doesn’t, you can tattoo ‘Cade Cunningham’ on your chest, because the Warriors will quite possibly lose every game he doesn’t play (and win the sprint against the Knicks to the highest lottery odds in the process). But here’s to optimism that Steph will spend 60-70 games on the hardwood.

Let’s go.

Steph will be a First-Team Player

The Baby-Faced Assassin is not done.

Over the last year, the masses seemed to forget what Steph looked like last time he was surrounded by legitimate NBA players.

Let me remind you.

He closed out the Rockets without Kevin Durant in demeaning fashion in the second round. Then, he swept the Blazers to the beat of 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists in the 2019 Western Conference Finals. The Warriors, of course, lost in the next round, but don’t point your fingers at Steph. Curry led the NBA Finals in scoring even as an elite Raptors defense targeted him as the engine of the Warriors’ offense. Despite a depleted and injured roster with an utter dearth of shooting outside of Steph and Klay, and no athleticism worth mentioning, the man was still able to produce.

https://twitter.com/ChefBetter/status/1244693327787761669

He may start the season a little rusty, but with almost a year of rest under his legs and a real NBA roster around him, Steph is ready to light the league ablaze again. He is the clear-cut first option on a team that lacks other consistent offensive creators for the first time in the Steve Kerr era. Without Thompson and KD, Steph will have the ball in his hands a lot more than in previous seasons. This will be the most unleashed he has ever been offensively.

As a result, the Warriors are going win a lot of games and Chef Curry is going to put up big numbers on his way back to the All-NBA First Team.

The Warriors will be the last line of defense against the Lakers

The 9 seed? The 14 seed?

Yeah, right.

I hope everyone is ready for “The Clippers Don’t Make it: Part 6” because the Warriors are heading back to Western Conference Finals in their place.

Steve Kerr acknowledged the team might struggle out the gate given all the fresh new faces and temporary absence of Draymond. But the Warriors are going to be a terror when they gel.

They have all the necessary tools to contend in the West—especially on the defensive end. Draymond, Wiseman, Chriss, Looney, Paschall, Oubre Jr., Wiggins and Bazemore all have wingspans greater than seven feet. One of the few outliers is backup point guard, Brad Wanamaker who, at 6’3” has a 6’8” wingspan. Translation? The Warriors have the means to absolutely smother teams on the defensive end. And you best believe Steve Kerr will have them doing just that.

Their half-court offense will struggle as the team figures each other out. But this squad has the versatility and depth to put together a top 10 offense.

What the Warriors lack early on in the half-court, they will more than make up for in transition. The Steph-Draymond combo on its own is a fast-break terror.  Flanking those two with athletes like Wiggins, Oubre Jr. and Wiseman will make this team damn-near unstoppable when they push the pace.

By the end of the regular season, the Warriors will have an edge on every non-Laker team in the West. They have the best point guard in the league and a deep, talented roster around him. Their length and athleticism give them a defensive answer almost every star they’ll meet in the playoffs, and their transition play will be punishing for big men like Jokic and Gobert.

The Warriors’ biggest test this season will come against the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.

The Warriors have multiple reps on the All-Star Team

And by that, I mean just two.

Steph, of course, is a lock.

But how about his longtime teammate?

Draymond Green

If the Warriors are an inspiring success story this year, it will be in large part because Draymond is once again terrorizing opposing offenses and orchestrating the Warriors’ own. Let’s say he puts up numbers close to his 2016 season—around 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds with a three-point percentage in the mid 30s. Would that combined with First-Team All Defense-level play vault him into the conversation?

Kelly Oubre Jr.

The most handsome young man in the NBA improved his numbers each year in the league. He finished last season with impressive averages of 18.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and upped his three point percentage to 35%.

He was brought in to try to fill the void left behind by Klay—on both ends of the floor. The defensive potential is certainly there. He’s longer than Klay and showed real promise as an on-ball defender last year. But whether he can defend at a high level while significantly upping his scoring and efficiency will determine if he’ll join Steph with All-Star honors.

Andrew Wiggins

I haven’t forgotten about the 2014-first-pick-in-the-draft-sized elephant in the room.

Time is running out for Wiggins. Everyone, including Warriors brass, knows this is his last chance to prove himself.

He has a hell of a chance with Golden State. He’s an elite athlete and near-20 PPG scorer for his career. His biggest tangible issues have always been efficiency, shot selection and defense.

If Wiggins’ best doesn’t come out in Golden State, it not likely we’ll ever see it. He’s playing for a first-class organization, a top-tier coach, and alongside two Hall of Fame players. And being the second or third option on the Warriors is not the same as it is on other teams. Almost every player improves playing with Steph because of attention he gets from opposing defenses. With clearer looks from three and more open lanes to the hole, Wiggins’ efficiency will improve. It will be on him to absorb and learn from the greatness surrounding him to take care of the rest.

The talent is there. An All-Star selection is not out of the question Andrew Wiggins puts it all together this year.

Follow us on Twitter @DubsLead for the latest Warriors news and insight. 

About Matt Cardoza

    Recommended for you

    Powered by themekiller.com