No one seems sure if the Golden State Warriors will truly be contenders or not this season.
For the first time in over five years, the Golden State Warriors are not universally one of the best teams in the NBA. The Warriors’ dominance has come to an end as this season looks more uncertain than years prior.
Ever since their 2015 championship, the Dubs have been title favorites in each season. Only growing stronger with the additions of Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, there wasn’t a moment that the Dubs were doubted by the masses.
Now, things are totally different. The devastation of an ACL injury to Klay Thompson added along with a number of key players leaving in free agency puts the Warriors in a vulnerable position. With a decimated roster and few positives takeaways from the summer, people aren’t too sure if the Dubs will be able to compete for a title this year.
In terms of talent, the Warriors are still loaded. A total of four All-Star caliber players make up the roster with Stephen Curry, D’Angelo Russell, Draymond Green and Thompson all capable of having a big impact on any team.
However, there is a significant dropoff in talent after the Warriors four main players. It is uncertain who the fifth starter will prove to be and there are major questions as to how the bench will hold up as the season progresses.
This begs the question, can the Warriors win a championship with this roster?
Many analysts think the Dubs lack of depth will come back to haunt them. One major injury could rule them out entirely. The dynasty is hanging on by a thread and any more speedbumps will prove to be disastrous.
In contrast, if this team is at full strength with a healthy Thompson then anything is possible. Assuming that at least one-second unit player steps up to give solid production, the Warriors will be capable of going toe-to-toe with any opponent.
In fact, this Dubs team could arguably be title favorites with a healthy core. The dynamic that Russell brings to the squad is intriguing as his elite playmaking skills will relieve pressure from the rest of the Warriors to create plays.
Russell averaged 7.1 assists per game last season. Now playing alongside the likes of Curry, D-Lo should find it even easier to facilitate. With Thompson on the court as well, the floor will be a playground in D-Lo’s eyes.
As Thompson’s return is set for after the All-Star break, we will not know the Warriors’ fate for quite some time. For now, the team must stay above .500 and give themselves a chance to make a run when Thompson returns.
Curry is set to put the team on his back and carry them to greatness. Though the Warriors are facing a tall task ahead of them, there is no reason to believe they aren’t contenders. At this point, the Warriors deserve the benefit of the doubt from us.