The Golden State Warriors are one of the most successful teams in NBA history, having won six championships and reached five consecutive finals from 2015 to 2019. Led by the superstar trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant, the Warriors dominated the league with their explosive offense, versatile defense, and unselfish play.
After losing Durant to free agency and suffering injuries to Thompson and Curry, the Warriors fell from grace and missed the playoffs in the last two seasons. Now, with a healthy roster and some new additions, can the Warriors rekindle their dynasty and become title contenders again?
Curry and Thompson as the best shooting backcourt in NBA history, having combined for over 4,000 three-pointers in their careers. They can both score from anywhere on the court, creating space for themselves and their teammates with their off-ball movement and gravity.
Curry is also a master of ball-handling, passing, and finishing, making him one of the most lethal offensive weapons in the game. Thompson is also a lockdown defender who can guard multiple positions and disrupt opposing teams’ rhythm.
The Warriors have a balanced roster that can play different styles and match up with other opponents. They have veteran leaders like Chris Paul, who joined them from the Phoenix Suns in the offseason, and Andrew Wiggins, who improved his efficiency and defense last season.
They also have young talents like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody, who were drafted in the first round this year, and Trayce Jackson-Davis, who was acquired from the Indiana Pacers in a trade. They also have reliable role players like Kevon Looney, Cory Joseph, Rodney McGruder, and Dario Saric, who can contribute in various ways.
The main disadvantage of the Warriors is their injury history. Curry and Thompson have missed considerable time in the last two seasons due to various ailments. Curry broke his hand in 2019-20 and suffered a tailbone injury in 2020-21.
Thompson tore his ACL in 2019 and his Achilles in 2020, sidelining him for two full seasons. Paul also has a history of injuries, especially in the playoffs. The Warriors must manage their stars’ minutes and health carefully throughout the season to avoid setbacks.
A weakness of the Warriors is their lack of size and rebounding. The Warriors have been outrebounded by their opponents in the last two seasons. They lack a dominant big man who can protect the rim, grab boards, and score inside.
Looney is a solid defender and screener, but he is undersized and limited offensively. Jackson-Davis is an injury that kept him out of most of last season. The Warriors must rely on their team’s defense, ball movement, and shooting to overcome their size disadvantage.
The key players for the Warriors are Curry, Thompson, and Paul. They are the leaders and causes of the team, who will set the tone and tempo for their offense and defense.
Curry is the engine of the Warriors’ offense; they can score at will and create opportunities for his teammates. He averaged 32 points, 5.8 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game last season, leading the league in scoring and earning his second MVP award.
He also made 337 three-pointers, breaking his own single-season record. He is expected to continue his stellar performance this season, as he will have more help from his healthy teammates.
Thompson is the wingman of Curry, who can complement him perfectly with his shooting and defense. He averaged 21.5 points per game on 46.7% shooting from three-point range in his last healthy season in 2018-19.
He also made 14 three-pointers in one game against the Chicago Bulls that year, setting an NBA record. He is expected to make his long-awaited return this season, as he has been cleared to participate in full-contact practices. He will provide a massive boost for the Warriors’ offense and defense.
The team is getting better with new editions and players returning, and the majority NBA odds also favor them.
Paul is the veteran leader of the Warriors, who can bring his experience and savvy to the team. He averaged 16.4 points, 8.9 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game last season, leading the Suns to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1993.
He also made his 11th All-Star appearance and his 10th All-NBA selection. He is expected to mentor and guide the Warriors’ young players and share the playmaking duties with Curry.
The challenges for the Warriors are the obstacles and difficulties they will face throughout the season. Some major challenges are:
- Staying healthy and avoiding injuries, especially to their key players like Curry, Thompson, and Paul.
- Integrating their new players like Paul, Kuminga, Moody, and Jackson-Davis into their system and culture.
- Finding a consistent and effective rotation to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses.
- Improving their rebounding and interior defense has been their Achilles’ heel in the past seasons.
- Dealing with the pressure and expectations of being a former dynasty and a potential contender.
The opportunities for the Warriors are the chances and possibilities they will have throughout the season. Some major opportunities are:
- Regaining their confidence and swagger, their recent struggles and failures have diminished.
- Rediscovering their joy and fun, their trademark during their championship runs.
- Developing their young players like Kuminga, Moody, and Jackson-Davis into valuable contributors and future stars.
- Exploiting their shooting advantage over most opponents, who will have trouble keeping up with their pace and spacing.
- Surprising and upsetting their rivals, who may underestimate or overlook them due to their recent decline.
The Golden State Warriors are a team with a rich history and a bright future. They have a core of proven champions and a supporting cast of promising prospects. They have a system of excellence and a culture of winning. They have a chance to rekindle their dynasty and become title contenders again.
However, they also have a lot of challenges and uncertainties to overcome. They must stay healthy, play together, improve their weaknesses, and seize opportunities. They must prove themselves to be one of the best teams in the NBA.