Golden State Warriors: 7 Bold Predictions for 2013-2014

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5. The Warriors make it to the Western Conference Finals

May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Medical staff and team surround Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes (40) during the second quarter of game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Some might say this isn’t a bold prediction.  After all, the Warriors took the San Antonio Spurs to six games in the Western Conference Semifinals this past season.

That may be true, but the Western Conference is stacked with great teams.  The Oklahoma City Thunder will have Russell Westbrook back next season, and Kevin Durant is the second-best player in the league. The Spurs seem to be ageless – they continue to succeed when others expect them to decline.  The Memphis Grizzlies just had the most successful season in the history of their franchise.  If the Houston Rockets get Dwight Howard, they would also be contenders.

These teams – and a few others – all expect to compete for the Western Conference crown.  It would be foolish to think the Warriors have one of the top seeds locked up.

In order for the Warriors to make it, Curry and Thompson are going to have to make big improvements. This pair could go down as the best shooting duo in NBA history. Teams live and die by the jumper, but the jumper is what gives the Warriors the best chance at making a deep playoff run.  It almost worked this past season, but Golden State will have to fight even harder to make an impact next year.