What do Stephen Curry and Hansel, the male model from the movie Zoolander have in common? They are both so hot right now. Thanks to a stellar star studded postseason, Curry has emerged as one of the league’s best point guards. But ESPN.com went one step further ranking Curry as the sixth best player in the entire league. Curry is a great young player and no doubt in the top five of the most fun players to watch list, but he is not already better than Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose and maybe even Carmelo Anthony.
Either way, Curry is poised to lead a team filled with aspirations that involve more than just making the playoffs. Curry, his young teammates Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, and big men David Lee and Andrew Bogut are now teamed up with Andre Iguodala forming a core that could soon become the best sixth man rotation in the league.
Summer Summary: The Warriors could have decided to sit pat during the offseason but GM Bob Myers was incredibly aggressive and made the necessary sacrifices that it took to add Andre Iguodala. Signing both Jermaine O’Neal and Marresse Speights as well as Toney Douglas are key bench additions that could help the Dubs try to replace Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. Most importantly, Myers found an effective way to get rid of BOTH Andris Biedrins’ MASSIVE CONTRACT and Richard Jefferson’s corpse.
Chief Concern: Health. Health. And more health. You can’t predict when the injury bug will hit, but the Warriors sure hope that it comes few and far between in the upcoming 2013-14 campaign. David Lee is coming off and injury, Bogut is practically made of porcelain. Stephen Curry not only breaks his opponents ankles but his as well. Jermaine O’Neal is old and no longer as durable as he once was and injuries to Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes could be detrimental to the Warriors goals this season.
Daring Divination: Andrew Bogut will play more than 75 games this season and make the All-NBA third team. If Bogut stays on the court he can easily be one of the better centers in the entire league and with the center position full of players than can only play one side of the court or the other, Bogut’s ability to score and pass, as well as clog the paint allows him to be a crucial part of the Dubs puzzle. Don’t be surprised if Bogut does play at an All-Star level quality that Bob Myers looks to trade David Lee for cap space, draft picks and bench depth. Trading Lee would allow the Dubs to play a ton of small ball, further emphasizing there three point shooting abilities and athleticism.
Intriguing Piece: Sorry no alliteration for this section. Stephen Curry is the obvious answer. And Harrison Barnes is not far behind but Toney Douglas is the Warriors most intriguing player. With Jarrett Jack now the Cleveland Cavaliers backup point guard, Toney Douglas is the Warriors third best guard behind Curry and Thompson. Back in 2010-11, when Douglas was still with the Knicks, Douglas averaged 10.6 points and three rebounds and assists per game in 24.3 minutes of action. Douglas played in 81 games that season, nearly one third of the total number of games he’s played in his entire career. If Douglas emerges as the scorer and consistent bench option that he was back on the Knicks in the 2010-11 season then some pressure will be lifted off of the fragile ankles of Stephen Curry.
Plausible Prediction: The Warriors will win between 49-53 games this season. They will make the playoffs and barely survive a possible first round exit. But because the Western Conference is so strong at the top of the conference, the Warriors will not defeat their second round opponent, say the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder, or Houston Rockets, and in turn will not eclipse their playoff success from last season.