The Golden State Warriors suffered a disappointing second-round playoff exit against the Los Angeles Lakers, the first time they’ve lost a Western Conference playoff series in the Steve Kerr era.
In the previous eight seasons with Kerr at the helm, Golden State had made the NBA Finals on six occasions, and failed to make the postseason in back-to-back seasons of 2020 and 2021.
The Golden State Warriors will enter unfamiliar territory this offseason that should aid them in their 2023-24 championship aspirations.
Speaking to TNT’s Inside the NBA before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Warriors’ superstar Stephen Curry noted that extra time to work on his golf swing is a silver lining to the early playoff exit.
While Curry would much rather be playing basketball and on his way to the NBA Finals, his comments may actually prove true in a way. Whether it’s golf or anything else, this extended offseason could aid in refreshing Golden State as they look to atone for the disappointment of 2022-23.
They may have had an even greater break during the 2020 and 2021 offseasons, but the Warriors were still in a much more precarious position health-wise during that period than they are now. The first time around Klay Thompson was on the way back from an ACL injury suffered in the 2019 Finals, before he was tragically struck down again with a torn achilles.
Thompson was still recovering during the 2021 offseason, not taking to the floor again until that momentous occasion in January 2022. All the while he was sharing much of his rehabilitation with James Wiseman who had torn his meniscus in April 2021.
Golden State enter this offseason with a relatively full bill of health, at least at this stage (fingers crossed). That means they can simply rest and replenish after a tough season before attacking another campaign full of momentum.
The turnaround between the Warriors’ championship and their 2022-23 preseason was incredibly sharp, and there’s little doubt that it played some role in their inability to gain considerable momentum during the regular season. With their core another year older, this slightly longer offseason could prove critical in creating a tilt towards another championship.