2008-2009 Golden State Warriors Season Preview
2008 Golden State Warriors basketball preview from Maddux Sports handicappers. After reading be sure to view today's NBA point spread odds for the scheduled games.
Last season, the Golden State Warriors (48- 34) missed the playoffs; if they had been in the Eastern Conference, they would have been playing in the post-season. The Warriors had a lot of off-court and on-court activity. Golden State played an up-tempo game, the second-fastest in the league, and allowed and scored more points than any other NBA team. They threw the ball up quickly, which was one reason that they made so few turnovers. They posted the fourth-lowest turnover rate in the NBA. In hauling up so many shots, the team took a lot of bad ones, which really affected their ability to win. Golden State had the worst defensive rebound percentage in the NBA; they took the second-most three-pointers but could not hit them.
Golden State played the game of “we’ll shoot and then you shoot back-and-forth.” Their contests were often frenetic and the team’s success was dependent on hot hands. Defense, rebounds and second shots did not play into the picture. The club made a run at the playoffs but couldn’t quite win enough to make it into the post-season. And there was plenty of off-court drama that often came from coach Don Nelson. His contract hold out was a major distraction as was his side court manner.
The team’s top player, Baron Davis, went to the Clippers while the Warriors signed free agent forward Corey Maggette. He’s a good acquisition. The defense will be upgraded by former Laker front-man Ronny Turiaf. Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins both inked long-term deals.
The frontcourt is controlled by Andris Biedrins, who hit 63% of his shots from the field. The six-foot-eleven, 230-pound center averaged 10.5 PPG and 9.8 RPG. As he enters his fifth NBA season, the Warriors are hoping he can develop some variety in his shooting. Biedrins is an expert rebounder. He must learn to cut back on his fouls, which totaled 262 last season. Forward Stephen Jackson put in 20.1 PPG and forward/center Al Harrignton was good for 13.6 PPG. Maggette, who was added this season, hit for 22.1 PPG. There’s certainly depth upfront.
In the backcourt, Monta Ellis will play point guard. Ellis, who knocked down 53% of his shots, is quick and elusive. Although he’s played the shooting spot for the past three years, Nelson believes he’ll find a home at the point. Last season he averaged 3.9 APG. Jackson, a forward, had more assists than Ellis; he could possibly spend some time at point too. There are two other guys ready to man the position if Ellis doesn’t work out there. Shooting guard is a dilemma, with backup Kelenna Azubuike attempting to fill the role.
This season looks to be a tough one for this young team. In another year or two, they will be competitive. The club has a lot of talent under contract and will free up some cap money when Harrington and Jackson’s contracts run out in 2010. In the meantime, there’s a massive amount of team building to do and chemistry to develop. This club looks to be bound for third-place in the Pacific Division and a seat in front of the TV when the playoffs start.