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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SDH's Hoops Blog's 2012/2013 NBA Worst to First Previews and Predictions: 20. Golden State Warriors

Overall Win/Loss Record : 23-43 fourth place, Pacific Division


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Projected 2012/2013 Finish

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Last season’s Team Statistics and League Rank
  • Points Scored: 97.8 (12th)
  • Points Allowed: 101.2 (28th)
  • Team FG%: .457 (7th)
  • Opponent’s FG%: .453 (20th)
  • Rebounds per game: 39.2 (28th)
  • Opponents rebounds per game: 45.8 (30th)


Returning Individual Statistical Leaders
  • Scoring: David Lee (20.1)
  • Rebounds per game:  David Lee (9.6)
  • Minutes per game: David Lee (37.2)
  • Assists per game: Stephen Curry (5.3)
  • Steals per game:  Stephen Curry (1.5)
  • Blocked Shots per game:  Andris Biendris (1.0)


Projected Starters Based on Last Season’s Performance, Veteran Seniority and Projected Impact


Key Reserves Based on Last Season’s Performances, Veteran Seniority and Potential Impact.
  1. Richard Jefferson (G/F),
  2. Brandon Rush (G/F),
  3. Carl Landry (PF),
  4. Harrison  Barnes (G/F),
  5. Andris Biendris (C)

2012/2013 Projection:  39-43 fourth place in Pacific Division, will not make the playoffs, but will still be considered as one of the most improved teams in the league.

Analysis:

Bay Area basketball fans have finally something to look forward to as their Golden State Warriors return this upcoming season with a deeper and tougher team.  Gone are team pariah Monta Ellis and replacing him is one of the toughest and grittiest big men in the league.  Despite not living up to the expectations given to the 1st pick overall in the NBA Draft, Andrew Bogut can still be considered as one of the league’s elite big men when healthy.  Although he has never reached the upper echelon of the league, Bogut has carved himself a niche as an excellent rebounder and an intimidating defensive presence in the paint.  Just two seasons ago, Bogut averaged a double-double in points and rebounds per game along with leading the league in blocked shots per game.

Hopefully, if he ready by opening tip-off, Bogut will give the Warriors what they have sorely lacked for so many years—a legitimate post presence.  It’s doubtful that Bogut will ever be the superstar that many hoped he would be, but he will give the Warriors an improved look, especially on the defensive end of the floor.  In addition, although he is not nearly the offensive threat that he once was in college, he still commands respect from opposing defenses enough for them to keep them honest.  His ability to score down low, along with his exceptional ball handling skills for a man his size added with his extremely high basketball IQ will help space the floor making it easier for the team’s perimeter players to get their shots off.  In acquiring Bogut, the Warriors’ front office has given its team a whole new dimension than it has ever had before.

Along with Bogut, the Warriors also bolstered its historically anemic front court adding additional size and scoring in the paint.  They added two solid front court players via the draft selecting former Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli in the first round and Michigan State’s Draymond Green, a virtual steal in the second.  Golden State also signed veteran forward Carl Landry known for his low post scoring and his ability to quickly get points on the board in a very short time.  Add them with the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, David Lee along with Andris Biendris, the Warriors big man although struggling with his offense still remains a presence on the boards and defensive end, Golden State will enter this upcoming season will one of the stronger and imposing front courts in the team’s history.  Numerous teams who will face them come November will certainly take notice as the Warriors are no longer the pushovers that they once were.

Along with bolstering the front court, the Warriors also added another player that the team so desperately needed—a point guard who can facilitate ball movement and get his teammates involved.  Golden State believes that they have found that player in seven year veteran Jarrett Jack who had come off of having the best season in his career.  After suffering the sting of losing their star player, Jack stepped up his game filling in the massive void that Chris Paul left behind by leading the New Orleans Hornets in points (15.6) and assists (6.3) per game.  In a time a chaos and uncertainty, Jack was the steady veteran presence that provided leadership and consistency on a team that had lost it heart, mind and soul.  The Warriors hope that Jack can bring the same veteran leadership as he brought in New Orleans, allowing Stephen Curry the move to the off guard spot where he can be more effective as a scorer.

With a stronger, deeper and more balanced roster, the Warriors will certainly make some noise and surprise many in this upcoming season.  Unfortunately for Golden State and its fans, this new brighter outlook hinges on the team being at full strength.  If the Warriors suffer the amount of injuries as they did last seasons, things will get rather ugly very quickly.  Their success hinges especially on the health of Andrew Bogut as he is essentially the lynch pin that will keep the team together and if he is out or unable to start the season, then all that the Warriors have worked hard to build will just fall apart.  So Warriors fans will need to cross their fingers and hold on their lucky rabbit’s feet tightly hoping that bad luck does not rear its ugly head as it usually has once again.