Warriors start a new cycle with the same old core
- Updated: 11th October 2019
The Golden State Warriors have failed to win their 3rd consecutive NBA title in 2019 and they are looking to recover their title already on this upcoming year. However, they will have to do it without Kevin Durant, an important piece of their 2017 and 2018 successes.
Warriors: Durant left, but their core remains
When the departure of Kevin Durant was announced, there were some worries that the remaining core elements of the most dominant NBA team between 2015 and 2018 could fall apart. However, that didn’t happen.
Besides the sensational Durant, only DeMarcus Cousins decided to abandon the team at the end of the season, having kept the core that started to stand out in 2015.
The Splash Brothers – Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson – continue to represent the team from Oakland, joined by one of the best defenders in the league Draymond Green.
In a certain way, the team’s recipe for success was maintained and that will give some hope to their manager Steve Kerr to believe that he can once again have a team that’s competitive enough to fight once again for the NBA title.
I should also remind that the Warriors lost in the final in 2018, against the Toronto Raptors, by 4-2.
Warriors: D’Angelo Russell will give them even more pace
Whoever is familiar with the path of the Golden State Warriors in this period under Steve Kerr will certainly know that the playstyle adopted by the team has been very focused towards fast attacks that don’t allow the opposing defences to set themselves up conveniently.
With the outside shooting ability from Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors can decide a match solely due to a period of inspiration from the Splash Bros, and that playstyle also allows the interior players to score more points, because the opposing teams’ need to cover the 3-pts range opens up space for interior passes and consequently finishes.
Basically, it is never easy to stop this team, and with D’Angelo Russell in the team after an exceptional season with the Brooklyn Nets, I wouldn’t be surprised if this scenario remains the same, because the young player also has a reasonable outside shot and a speed and pace that is remarkable.
— Alejandro (@al_e_jan_dro) October 5, 2019
On the other hand, his arrival will have a primary objective this season already, taking into consideration that Klay Thompson had to go through a surgery and should only return to the team on the 2nd half of the season, which means he will form a duo with Curry on the outside for now.
Later, and after the return of Thompson, we will see how Steve Kerr will fit these 3 pieces in the team, although it is likely that Klay Thompson becomes more and more of a shooter, leaving all the creativity to Russell and Curry.
The interior game can be worrying
Without DeMarcus Cousins or Andre Iguodala for the new season, the Warriors will have to renew their interior game with Kevin Looney being a clear choice to join Draymond Green.
But the regular season is very demanding and requires alternatives in each position, and because of that, the arrival of Willie Cauley-Stein from the Sacramento Kings can be precious.
He is a young center with a lot of quality, having already shown his credentials last season, which means the Warriors believe he might be able to rectify a good portion of the departures that happened at the end of the previous season.
Less responsibility might be beneficial
On such an exciting pre-season with several teams securing big-name signings, the team from Oakland preferred to stay in the shadows, only hiring D’Angelo Russell has a true addition of quality to their roster.
That way, teams like the Brooklyn Nets, LA Clippers or LA Lakers come into the new season filled with expectations and responsibility, something that doesn’t happen with the Warriors, which might allow them to finetune things in a relaxed way in order to do well at the play-offs.
According to the bookmakers, they are the 4th best team of the Western Conference, with odds of 8.50 to renew their title of conference champions, and this aspect alone already explains that they are sort of an “outsider” team this season, unlike what happened in previous years, where they started off as big title contenders.
Speaking about the title, the team that won 3 of the last 5 editions of the National Basketball Association appears in 6th place on the list of favourites according to 1xbet, with odds of 13.00, well above what was the case a year ago, when they stood out as favourites to win it, with odds that were around 2.00.
As it is known, Kevin Durant’s injury at the end of last season ended up hurting Steve Kerr’s gameplan and allow the galvanized Toronto Raptors to take advantage of that to win a title that not many would expect to end up in Canada at the start of the season.
We will see how it goes in 2020…