Ready or not dubs fans the season is about to start for us on Wednesday against the Suns. We have about the same ceiling/basement as most recent Warriors seasons. I’m guessing our ceiling would be a 7th or 8th seed in the west, and our basement is, well, we know what the basement is all about from the last decade plus. I can understand why some of the players (Jackson and Ellis) are somewhat confused at the organizations lack of movement in any one direction this offseason. Even the movement they did make it was pretty suspect as they added even more guards to the roster. I can’t say there’s any reason to be shocked, and nor should any long time Warriors fan. It’s rough watching Rowell sign extensions and trade for point guards, but we understand that our ownership just doesn’t like to make normal decisions. Maybe Al Davis and Cohan speak regularly on how to make Bay Area fans miserable. The thing that has bugged me the most out of all of these years, is that we do have a great fan base, and are the fifth largest basketball market in the country. It’s been a widespread hope for years that Cohan would sell the team, but fans have been disappointed as talks died down each time. It’s just amazing that bigger named players can’t be brought here, since they are in such a good market. I guess the Cohan’s (losing) label has stuck a little too well forcing all free agents to head for the hills when the W’s call. Anyways, I have high hopes for this team in the near future maybe not this year per say, but sooner than later they should mold into a solid cast, if we actually CAN keep them together.
Let’s start with the trouble makers that kept the Warriors camp relevant in the NBA news over the summer. I think I’ve said about all I can on Stephen Jackson, and how his time in a Warriors jersey was much appreciated, but now it’s time to for us and him to move on. I’ve been a huge fan of Monta Ellis since he was drafted by the Warriors, but this summer he proved that he still is slightly childish. He didn’t want the W’s to take a guard in the draft. Sure enough, they did. At the time I felt it would have been a big mistake to take anyone other than Curry, so I’m glad we did. He said that Curry and himself couldn’t play together, and it looks like they’re both in the starting lineup for Friday night. Maybe I just never noticed it, or maybe Jackson has rubbed off on Monta with his gripes. I can understand his points and where he’s coming from, but he should have done a little more research before he signed his contract! I hope he can suck it up, and just play like the guy that flew around the court and gave oppositions nightmares on defense. I think he will, and Nelson will use his ability’s well at the 2. I haven’t really seen anything promising as far as distributing the ball with him, so I’m not really buying he was cut out to man the point. I’m down for a surprise, if he can prove me wrong!
Which moves us to Curry. He seems to be the most professional about all the drama that has unfolded this offseason (maybe his daddy Del helped him out with that), but he’s been very composed considering a lot of it has surrounded him. I had mixed feelings when we drafted him as I’ve had a mancrush on him for at least three years, but it sounded like he didn’t want to come to Golden State. Before the draft he didn’t even want to work out for the W’s, and it was already upsetting one of our young stars (Monta) that he was being considered. Alas, I’ve come around after watching him play in a few games this pre-season with some actual pros. I really liked how he managed the game, and seemed to know how to run an offense showing off his high basketball IQ, which must just be a hereditary thing. Now that he’s been named the starter for opening night, I can only hope he makes more correct decisions that wrong ones. If he struggles early, I could see him out of the starting lineup quick, but with very little competition at PG I think he might stick. I’m sure some of his training this offseason with CP3 taught him a thing or two about being prepared. Nellie has been glowing about him, calling him a young Steve Nash. It’s pretty high praises, but Nellie says a lot of weird stuff!
Stephen Jackson, Anthony Randolph, and Andris Biendris are supposed to round out the lineup. Although Jackson and Randolph are both questionable it looks as though they will both play in the opener. Randolph’s back is slightly more concerning, but there are still a few days before the season starts for him to rest. The freakishly gifted Randolph showed off at the Summer Leagues, and is rinally ready to reel in some minutes, that should bump up his already impressive stats in a small sample size. It’s crazy that he might not even peak for another five years! He is finally out of Nellie’s doghouse through working extremely hard through the offseason, and once again is a main reason for optimism in Oakland. He added 20 pounds of muscle, and was constantly working on his game which should translate to a breakout campaign.
Biens could possibly be my favorite player on their team. I guess that Latvian charm wore off on me because I’m not really big on his style of play or the excitement level he creates when he’s on the court. It’s more on how he approaches the game, and has handled himself throughout his career as a Warrior. He never complained once about not having a contract until his was up. He has consistently gotten better each season in one area or another. He’s only 23! He appreciates the game and what he is a part of. This summer he reportedly has been expanding his offensive game. Word is he has been working on facing up, and post moves as defenders were playing his tendencies too much last season. It’s the one facet of his game that has always had criticism, and now he’s addressing it. Just one more reason to like this kid! No matter what happens, I think we’ll get our money’s worth out of him on the court.
Our bench should be very interesting this year. It will be shuffling who is coming off the bench based on who is starting, but with Morrow/Curry, Maggette, Turiaf, and Azubuike it looks like we should be able to outscore a lot of second teams in the league. Morrow and Maggette have been great this pre-season, and possibly the best looking players on the team at times. They are very efficient in scoring, so hopefully that will continue to through the start of the regular season. Morrow could be the most interesting Warrior this year. It’s likely he’ll see the same 20-25 minutes per game since Nellie loves the three, but since he has been working hard on his defense, he might find a few extra minutes if he truly has improved. I find that a lot of people forget we even have Maggette, which is understandable, but he is the physical type of player we need to wear teams down and get the foul counts up to be in the bonus late in games. We have plenty of scoring, but our main problem once again is that we’re painfully thin at forward, and really only have one true center on the roster. Hopefully a speedy recovery from Branden Wright can help that. I’m worried having a rotation of bigs that includes Mikki Moore. Should be an interesting season! I’m hoping for the best, but as always I will be prepared for the worst!
October 26th, 2009 at 9:38 am
The more I think about it, the more excited I am about Biedrins. Hopefully Randolph can take some attention away from him on offense and it’ll lead to more open dunks and put backs. It’s true that he’s handled himself very well throughout the course of his career in Oakland – reminds me of Jason Richardson. I hope they keep him around.
October 26th, 2009 at 11:48 am
That’s a very good point! I never really thought much about how having Randolph’s offensive abilities helping Biens get loose! Nice comparison to J-Rich too!
October 26th, 2009 at 1:21 pm
This Warriors team could make some noise. But I don’t know that they’ve got the where-withall to withstand a long arduous 82 game regular season schedule. It’s good mix of young and skilled veterans on their roster . But that’s also predicated upon who’ll step up and take on a leadership role ?
October 26th, 2009 at 6:48 pm
Well, I wouldn’t call them deep on the veteran side. I think they are close to the league lead in youngest average age… Close to the Sonics, er, Thunder. I have my doubts about us making the playoffs, but I’m more looking for consistency out of these young guys. We just need something positive to build on…
October 26th, 2009 at 8:32 pm
They won’t make the playoffs as there’s no real leadership on this team. My dark horse in the Western Conference will be the Trailblazers. With Oden back and having a good preseason and meshing well with his teammates. Watch out, they’re going to make a great deal of noise.
I’d dropped this op-ed boxing piece on Ali.
What’s Meant To Be Politically Correct Did Ali Not Have A Right To Free Speech … ?
October 27th, 2009 at 10:19 am
No leadership so far, but Randolph sounds about as competitive as they come so maybe he will be sooner than later…
Yeah, I think a lot of people like Portland as a darkhorse! I think they should be good, but the Andre Miller situation seems to be a distraction so far, and they’re going to play him off the bench! WTF!?!
October 27th, 2009 at 12:32 am
Great post, I too have had a “man-crush” on Curry and that sweet, sweet stroke! I tend to favor the jump-shooters who are text book with their forms. I hope this season is a positive one, when will we see our “Dubs” put in consistent playoff runs, season after season? I hope that this team has surprises in store for us, because it’s not looking too hot right now …
I will definitely take some of this into account when I round up my West predictions! Thanks again, Chappy!