One thing is for sure, the Golden State Warriors are the reigning NBA champions. Outside of that? Nobody seems quite sure what to expect from the Dubs.
Analysts have given mixed predictions, with formerly pessimistic John Hollinger of The Athletic picking the Warriors to finish in second place while ESPN projects Golden State to fall all the way to eighth in the Western Conference.
Experts are giving wildly different predictions for the Golden State Warriors. What should we really expect from the defending champs?
Some of the reasoning makes sense.
The Warriors have had an unusual number of changes to the roster for a team fresh off winning the title.
Key players such as Gary Payton and Otto Porter Jr. have left while depth pieces like Juan Toscano-Anderson and Damion Lee are on their way out, as well.
The pain of losing GP2 and OPJ is obvious. Both brought intensity on defense while Porter was one of the best 3-point shooters on a team loaded with snipers.
Losing JTA and Lee is major, too. Both players have been on the roster since 2019 and they each played 60+ games last season. In terms of continuity, shedding JTA and Lee is a setback for the Warriors.
Yet, they’ve made some vital additions.
Donte DiVincenzo is off to a hot start and earning praise from the likes of Andre Iguodala. JaMychal Green is a worthy depth piece while James Wiseman, Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody and Patrick Baldwin are all interesting x-factors.
Above all else, the core is back.
Regardless of what you think of the Warriors’ depth, there is no denying the talent of their stars.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole are all elite players who can elevate this team throughout the season. With a sturdy paint presence in Kevon Looney bringing it all together, it’s best not to bet against the defending champs.