After winning his fourth NBA championship in eight years, Golden State Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, had a bold prediction for next season.
“Yeah, my experience is when you win a championship you get better the next year,” Kerr said in the team’s first media session of the offseason.
He believes that this is mainly due to the excitement that goes along with winning a world title and being able to carry it over to the following season.
The championship core is still intact and has shown no signs of slowing down, and that could bode well for the Golden State Warriors next season.
Considering that this was the first time Golden State has been in the postseason since 2019, and they were once again able to get a taste of what winning yet another NBA championship is like, coach Kerr may be on to something.
Let’s look at a couple of other reasons why the Golden State Warriors have the potential to be an even better team next season.
Stephen Curry is fresh off the best NBA Finals series of his career, where he averaged 31.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.0 assists with 48/43/85 shooting splits, all while taking down the league’s top-rated defense in the Boston Celtics and winning his first NBA Finals MVP.
He also put up 43 points with seven made threes on over 50% shooting in the pivotal, must-win game four, with his team down 2-1 in the series. Considering the circumstances, that was arguably Steph’s best performance in the NBA Finals.
Curry also stated in an interview with ESPN’s Malika Andrews on June 7th, that he feels he is still in the prime of his career and has plenty left in the tank.
Even though they did not have a great series against the Boston Celtics, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson still had huge moments throughout the Dubs’ championship run.
This includes Draymond’s game-clinching steal on the reigning MVP Nikola Jokic in game three of their first-round series against the Denver Nuggets, blocking All-NBA defender Jaren Jackson Jr.’s three-point attempt late in game four of the Memphis Grizzlies series, as well as his classic performance in the closeout game six against the Boston Celtics where he put up 12 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists along with 2 steals and 2 blocks.
As for Klay Thompson, after back-to-back seasons of being on the bench due to injury, he was Golden State’s second-leading scorer throughout the playoffs with 19 points per game and had several big performances in close-out scenarios.
He had a 32-point performance in game five of the Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks to lift the Warriors to yet another Finals appearance and had a team-high 30 points with eight made threes in the final game of their second-round matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Golden State’s big three was huge throughout their fourth championship run in eight years and showed no signs of dropping off.
The Warriors’ young core should continue to improve
The Warriors have had three lottery picks in the NBA’s Draft over the past two years, selecting James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody. Despite those three players not having tremendous roles in the Dubs’ rotation, they have all shown great promise.
They also have Jordan Poole, a top-four candidate for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award in 2022. Poole had a breakout season, averaging 18.5 points per game and leading the league in free throw percentage (92%) at only 22 years old.
Golden State is known for their player development, and seeing what Poole was able to accomplish in his third NBA season, hopes should be high for the Warriors’ three lottery picks.
Jonathan Kuminga showcased his elite athleticism and potential on the defensive end throughout his rookie season and Moses Moody proved to be a great fit in the Warriors system, with his ability to shoot the outside jumper and to be in the right spot defensively consistently with his impressive seven-foot wingspan.
Even though James Wiseman missed the entirety of the 2021-22 season due to a meniscus injury in his rookie year, he is set to play in the NBA’s Summer League and show why Golden State selected him with the second overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. He is over seven feet tall, has great athleticism, and has the ability to shoot an outside jumper.
This is exactly what the Warriors were missing throughout this past season.
If Wiseman, Kuminga, and Moody can continue to improve their games and become a larger part of Golden State’s rotation, with the emergence of Jordan Poole, alongside the team’s big three, this roster has the potential to be even better next season.