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Stories

Sports news with a Vegas perspective.

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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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2013/14 NBA Team Preview: Golden State Warriors

Season Review 2012/13:

Advanced Stats

 

Numbers

Rank

Pace

94.5

4

Offense

106.4

11

Defense

105.5

14

Rebound

50.2

15

 

4 Factors

Offense

Numbers

Rank

Defense

Numbers

Rank

eFG%

50.6

10

eFG%

48.6

8

TO%

14.0

21

TO%

12.4

28

Reb%

25.4

22

Reb%

24.5

1

FT%

20.1

18

FT%

21.1

22

 

Monthly Performance

 

Record

OffRtg

DefRtg

November

 9-6

105.4

105.1

December

 12-4

112.6

104.4

January

 8-7

108.1

109.4

February

 4-8

108.9

115.2

March

 9-7

107.4

101.9

April

 5-3

111.2

107.2

The Warriors were possibly the league’s biggest surprise last season. Head Coach Mark Jackson led the team onto the #6 seed on the Western Conference by overachieving their performance on the court, as the Warriors were the playoff team with the worst point differential during the regular season in the Western Conference (only +0.9), something that should have given them a record close to 41-41, much worse than their 47-35 record. 

Then in the playoffs, the Warriors faced the red hot Nuggets in the first round that had the home court advantage. Golden State lost the Game 1 of the series on the last shot of the game, while David Lee suffered a serious injury mid-game. However, Golden State was still able to eliminate the Nuggets in six games led by a super Stephen Curry. In the second round, the Warriors were able to push San Antonio into a 2-2 tie in the series, but then the Spurs solved the series with two wins in the following games by double digits, while showing that they were indeed the better team in the series. 

It wasn’t surprising to see the Warriors being a good offensive team last season with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Jarrett Jack, David Lee and Carl Landry, five offensive minded players with good offensive skills. Still, the Warriors weren’t an elite team on offense, even though they were the best team in the league behind the line with 40.3% 3pts, the only team in the league above 40%! 

The problem was that the Warriors weren’t a good offensive team in the remaining offensive areas, as they committed too many turnovers (#21 on TO/rate%) and their jump shooting mindset was quite visible by their lack of aggressiveness by being #22 in the league on offensive rebounding and #18 on FT rate. 

But it was their defense that was the main reason why the Warriors became a competitive team. On the first season of the Mark Jackson era in Golden State, they were the fourth worst defensive team and they were the worst defensive rebounding team in the league! Therefore, it’s unbelievable that the Warriors became the best defensive rebounding team in the league last season, when they had been the worst team on that area in the previous season! 

Golden State’s improvements on defense weren’t as spectacular, but they were #14 in defensive rating last season. In theory we could mention that Andrew Bogut was the main reason for this improvement, but Bogut played just 32 games during the regular season! The Warriors improved on defense mostly due to a concerted team effort and the merit should go to the coaching staff that was able to insert the right mindset into the locker room. 

For the short span where Golden State couldn’t be a decent defensive team, the results were quite negative with a 4-8 record in February, while allowing 109.4 points per game. 

Stephen Curry had a monster 2nd half of the season while shooting 47.6% FG, 46.1% 3pts and 89.4% FT and he was even better in the playoffs! Despite some minor injuries, he was capable of playing 78 games on the regular season and his shooting ability was a joy to watch. The Warriors’ season was directly related with Curry’s performance and that was clear during the postseason. 

 

Offseason Report: 

The Warriors didn’t have a lot of flexibility on their cap salary, but they were still one of the teams that were interested in Dwight Howard on the offseason. Howard decided to sign with Houston and so, the Warriors set their attention into Andre Iguodala unexpectedly. Iguodala mentioned that we would have continued in Denver if former Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri had remained with the team and then, he was also one hour away from signing with Dallas. Golden State didn’t have the cap space at the time to sign him, but a last minute deal with Utah in trading Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson allowed the room to sign Iguodala. 

In other news, Jarrett Jack joined the Cavaliers in a big loss for the Warriors, having in account that Toney Douglas, Seth Curry, Nemanja Nedovic and Kent Bazemore will fight for minutes on the backcourt and none of these players will bring the quality to the second unit’s backcourt that Jack brought last season. 

In the frontcourt, Golden State added Marreese Speights and Jermaine O’Neal to a unit that also suffered a big loss when Carl Landry went to Sacramento. 

 

Season Preview: 

After an excellent season last year and with Andre Iguodala’s acquisition in the offseason, the expectations are huge for the Warriors this season. 

The team’s main core will basically be the same from last season. If it wasn’t for Harrison Barnes leaving the lineup to be replaced by Andre Iguodala and the Warriors would have the same starting lineup from last season. 

The main question for the new season is related with the team’s depth, as their two best bench players from last season left the team. Mark Jackson used frequently a 3-guard lineup with Jack, Curry and Thompson, something that worked well offensively. 

However, the depth in the guards position for the new season isn’t adequate for such a move, so it won’t be a surprise if Iguodala plays some minutes at the SG position, after having played most of his minutes at the SF position in Denver last season. That will have to happen as Harrison Barnes deserves a lot of trust from the team, after his amazing rookie season last year. His postseason performance was great, with Barnes having to play at the PF position at times, after Lee’s injury. His 16.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 45% FG were stellar!   

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes will form a very strong backcourt and with flexibility to play at multiple positions. Iguodala will naturally have the duty of guarding the opponent’s best offensive player, something that will give some rest to Curry to give his max effort on offense. 

On the frontcourt, David Lee and Andrew Bogut will continue being the team’s main players. Mark Jackson managed to find a way to grab defensive rebounds and with the same main guys in the roster for the new season, there are no reasons to think that the Warriors will be back at being the worst defensive rebounding team in the league like they were two seasons ago. 

Andrew Bogut has dealt with several injuries over the last few years, but it seems like he is finally healthy. He looked good in the first preseason games, but I still have some question marks around his ability to keep himself healthy for the whole season. Nevertheless, if he manages to stay healthy during the season, then Golden State’s defense will get a huge upgrade over last season, also helped by the signing of Iguodala. 

David Lee is finally able to play on a winning team, after playing several years for the lowly-at-the-time Knicks and for the losing version of Golden State on his first two seasons with the team. He keeps being a solid offensive contributor, with good rebounding numbers, a nice 3.5 assists per game and his also usual poor defense that will get compensated by Bogut’s and Iguodala’s presence on court. 

Golden State will be seen this season as a clear playoff contender, something that didn’t happen last season. Their defense has everything to be even better this season with Iguodala’s signing and with a healthier Bogut. However, they lost some depth on their second unit that will be important on a marathon like the regular season. Anyway, it’s not impossible for the Warriors to fight for home court edge in the first round of the playoffs. But for that to happen, Stephen Curry will have to have a MVP caliber season, Bogut will need to be 100% healthy and Iguodala will have to be on the NBA’s All Defensive team. 

My name is André Gomes, I’m from Portugal and I am a Professional Handicapper. My sole purpose is to constantly beat the sportsbooks by taking advantage of the evaluation errors they make. It is most... Read more

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