Posted by Neil Paine on October 27, 2010
Welcome to our 2010-11 NBA Blogosphere Previews, in which we contact the finest team bloggers on the web and ask them to contribute their thoughts on the squad they cover. What follows is their take, along with the team's depth chart (courtesy of ESPN.com), projected 2011 stats via our Simple Projection System, and polls where you get to have your say. Enjoy!
Golden State Warriors
Coach: Keith Smart
Record: 26-56, Finished 4th in NBA Pacific Division
SRS: -3.27 (22nd of 30) ▪ Pace: 100.4 (1st of 30)
Off Rtg: 108.1 (14th of 30) ▪ Def Rtg: 111.7 (29th of 30)
Expected W-L: 32-50 (22nd of 30)
2011 Depth Chart (with 2010-11 projected per-36 minute stats ... yellow = newcomer)
2010-11 Blogger Outlook by Jim Del Favero, warriorsworld.net
While the 2009-10 Golden State Warriors were a team of bench players looking for a competitive starting 5, the 2010-11 version will be the opposite.
The Warriors remade the team from the top down this summer. New ownership, coaching, and half of the roster. Joe Lacob from Kleiner Perkins and Peter Guber from Mandalay Entertainment lead a new ownership group that expects to have the deal closed in the next 2 weeks. Small ball architect and amateur beer enthusiast Don Nelson was relieved of his coaching duties in favor of assistant coach Keith Smart. Fan favorites Ronny Turiaf, Kelenna Azubuike and Anthony Randolph were traded away to New York for David Lee. Corey 'Me' Gette was traded to the Bucks for Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric in a mea culpa for his ridiculous contract. CJ Watson the Warriors leader in career tweets was allowed to leave for Chicago and Anthony Morrow was traded for a second round pick to be named later. The Warriors also signed fan favorite Jeremy Lin to boost jersey sales.
The new look Warriors feature a lineup that, barring injury, should start all season a welcome departure from the revolving door lineups employed by Nelson last year. Young Stephen Curry will be handling the point, Monta Ellis at the other guard spot providing a fast, high scoring back court that will have a hard time defending larger guards in the post. New free agent acquisition Dorell Wright will be taking over the small forward duties providing additional athleticism and should perform better in a less structured environment. David Lee plays power forward along side Andris Biedrins. Biedrins hopes to bounce back after a mediocre season last year where his confidence waned under coach Nelson and his free throw shooting approached single digits.
David Lee is a legit big man who commands a double team in the low post, has good hands, works hard and can pass as well as make shots from 12' in. He is the most legitimate low post player the Warriors have had since Chris Webber. Stephen Curry is coming off what should have been a rookie of the year season, and after his experience with Team USA, his move to the point should be getting easier. Ellis is fully recovered from his 'moped' accident and seems to enjoy playing with Curry. With Wright and Biedrins the Warriors now have a solid starting 5. The Warriors will score a lot of points, and still be an exciting team to watch, the added maturity of existing players, Lee, and a thin, but veteran bench should provide stability.
Curry is in his second year at point and in pre-season hasn't taken care of the ball. Dorell Wright is a bit of an unknown, in a new system hopefully his athleticism will elevate him. The Warriors bench is now woefully thin, whatever you think of Magette, bringing him off the bench as your 6th man can work wonders to jump start a sagging offense. First round pick Epke Udoh is injured and not expected back until December, where he won't be much of a factor and Lou Amundson who was just signed to a 2 year deal fraactured his right index finger and will be out for 2-4 months. As always eyes on on Brandan Wrights shoulder, this is a make or break season for the first round pick out of NC.
Defense is still where this team is going to struggle, there aren't any lockup defenders on this team. Dorell Wright comes in and is immediately the Warriors best defender. Lee is coming to the West where the bodies are bigger and faster. His suspect defense and average speed will be tested even more. Biedrins habit of fouling out when playing help defense, could make defending the basket a challenge against teams with larger, faster front courts, the Clippers with Blake Griffin come to mind as a problematic matchup. The Warriors defense will look more like the scrappy, steal, and forced turnover defense of the 'We Believe' season. This team could look ugly against disciplined teams like the Spurs, Jazz and Lakers, especially at the end of periods and in the 4th quarter.