The play of a few key Golden State Warriors will likely determine the result of this upcoming season. If each starter performs to their potential, what could they achieve?
The Golden State Warriors may go with a mix of numerous starting lineups, but we believe this will be it on opening night.
Stephen Curry: MVP
The team is now Curry’s more than ever. With Klay Thompson out until late in the season and Kevin Durant now in the Eastern Conference, Steph will be leaned on heavily to lead the team both in scoring and as a veteran presence.
With the usage he’ll be getting, Curry should average somewhere in the 27-31 point per game range. He has an opportunity to create the way he did in his back-to-back MVP seasons.
D’Angelo Russell: All-NBA Team
Russell is in a completely new situation and likely will take some time to adjust to the Warriors offense in-game. With that said, he’s a natural scorer and will be the second option behind Curry in the offense, which should lead to a ton of success for the former Brooklyn Nets guard.
Russell is only 23 and was a close second in the Most Improved Player race this past season. He’s primed for a breakout year and could vault himself into All-NBA consideration filling in for Klay Thompson.
Draymond Green: Defensive Player of the Year
Green is coming off his lowest statistical output since 2015, but the effect he has on defense is still very noticeable. Fresh off a new contract extension, he’ll have the opportunity to score more this year as well.
Green is going to be a determining factor in how much the Warriors succeed this year. Offense won’t be a concern for this team, but Draymond will be relied on to anchor a relatively young frontcourt. His impact definitely has the chance to garner him DPOY honors.
Klay Thompson: Playoff Hero
While this isn’t a concrete award, Thompson has the chance to come back strong from his ACL injury and have an immediate impact come playoff time. He has the experience and leadership qualities to give Golden State an extra boost when it matters most.
Thompson’s scoring output will certainly be missed as he rehabs, but the relief taken off Curry and Russell’s shoulders when he returns will open the game up for everyone on the floor.
Willie Cauley-Stein: Most Improved Player
The former sixth overall pick in 2015 has yet to blossom into the star center that he was expected to be coming out of Kentucky, but Cauley-Stein has the chance to take large strides forward in Golden State. If he improves his game enough, this season could garner him some MIP buzz.
He’ll likely start at the five alongside Curry, Russell, Green, and either Alfonzo McKinnie or Glenn Robinson III. Cauley-Stein should be able to average somewhere in the 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 assists per game range.
Glenn Robinson III: 8+ Points Per Game
Robinson has yet to find serious footing with an NBA team, but Golden State could be the place for him to do that. He has a chance to start at the small forward position this year and will get his share of looks as defenses gameplan against Curry and Russell.
He’s only appeared in 50+ games once in his career and has yet to average more than six points per game, but has the opportunity to put up well more than that this year. The Warriors will rely on his contributions at the 3 spot and hopefully, he can fulfill that role.